I have always wondered why this flower is called the “passion flower.” But it seems obvious when seeing the original Latin genus name of “passiflora,” However, there is another explanation. In the early 1700’s missionaries in Brazil used this flower as a teaching aid to explain the crucifixion. They called it the “flower of 5 wounds” referring to the nail wounds in the hands and feet of Jesus and the lance wound in His side.
We are nearing the end of “Passion Week” which refers to the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Passion motivated the Lord to endure great suffering out of His love for us. The word, “passion” or “passio” in Latin originally meant to endure suffering. Later it came to mean any intense emotion.
Today’s verse gives us a glimpse into the passion Jesus felt as He hung on that cross. He endured the pain, the humiliation and the shame. He endured the scorn and the excruciating separation from His Father for the first time in all eternity. He did it all for the joy set before Him.
Why was He so passionate? What was the joy set before Him? Could it have been me? He rescued me because He delighted in me (Psalm 18:19). He takes great delight in me and in His love will no longer rebuke me but rejoices over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17) Because of His sacrifice an eternal love relationship is now possible. It has always been a joy for me. How amazing that I am a joy to Him as well!
Thank you Lord, for being a passionate God!