Christ, the Fruit of the Spirit and Passover
Written by Joshua Travers
Passover gives us a powerful glimpse into Christ’s life—and how He demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit during the last days and hours of His physical life.
If you only had a few hours left to spend with your closest friends, how would you spend that time? What we do at that point in our lives would tell everyone quite a lot about us.
Jesus Christ was placed in such a position. Aware He had just hours left before His arrest and crucifixion, Christ knew that what He said in these final hours would be some of the most important words He would say in His entire 3½-year ministry. Knowing this, Christ chose His words carefully.
Knowing that He was about to leave His disciples, Christ assured them He wouldn’t leave them alone. Instead God would send them “another Helper” to be with them in Christ’s absence (John 14:16). God’s Spirit would help them understand God’s plan and remember Christ’s words (John 14:25-26).
The Holy Spirit is so important to a Christian’s life that we are not God’s people—true Christians—without it (Romans 8:9)! This is why Christ dedicated so much of His last precious hours with the apostles talking about the Holy Spirit.
A display of the Holy Spirit
But Christ did much more than talk about the Holy Spirit. He also gave us an example of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. During this tumultuous period of His life, He perfectly demonstrated the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Of course, Christ perfectly displayed the fruit of the Spirit during His entire life. And we can see it very clearly during His final hours. Here are a few examples of how He demonstrated the fruit of the Holy Spirit:
Love: Jesus Christ didn’t go through the crucifixion for Himself. He was willing to go through the most horrendous death known to humanity in order to make salvation possible for all human beings. His motivation was simple: love. As Christ Himself said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Joy: Though the crucifixion wasn’t a joyous experience, it was joy that helped Christ endure it. We are told that Christ “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Christ focused on the joy of what would happen as a result of His sacrifice, which helped Him endure the intense pain.
Peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you” is what Christ told His disciples during His last few hours with them (John 14:27). Knowing that He was about to go through the most painful death known to humanity, Christ still was able to be peaceful and to give some of that peace to His disciples. Christ’s sacrifice also helps make peace—reconciliation—between us and God (2 Corinthians 5:18).
Longsuffering: Jesus Christ was the ultimate example of longsuffering throughout this experience. He endured scourging, emotional abuse, hostility and the actual crucifixion itself for our sakes. To endure all of that physical punishment for something the rest of humanity did—and without a reviling word—shows more longsuffering than we can comprehend!
Kindness: Kindness includes doing thoughtful deeds for others. Christ’s sacrifice was something that was carefully thought-out in advance and done for the benefit of all of humanity (Ephesians 2:7; Revelation 13:8).
Goodness: The essence of goodness is doing the right thing, which is what Christ always did. During His crucifixion, Christ had to maintain focus and commitment to doing what was right, despite the abuse from those He was dying for.
Faithfulness: Christ was faithful to God and His calling throughout His entire human life. Even when it would have been so easy to defend Himself, Christ restrained Himself. He consistently stayed faithful to the Father’s will and purpose (Luke 22:42).
Gentleness: Gentleness is treating others with a sense of humility and tenderness. Jesus displayed this trait of the Spirit throughout His sacrifice, as evidenced by healing a man who was arresting Him (Luke 22:50-51) and asking God to forgive those abusing Him (Luke 23:34).
Self-Control: Christ stated that He could “pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53). The whole time that He was slowly dying, Jesus could have literally called on an army of angels to help Him. The ability and opportunity was there, yet He didn’t act on it. Jesus had the self-control to go through with God’s plan in spite of the excruciating pain and torture that eventually killed Him.
Learn from His example
The Passover has tremendous significance in the lives of Christians, showing the full love of God for His creation (John 3:16). There can be no overstating the importance of this day and how seriously we must take it.
During the Passover season, we should also reflect on the example of Christ during the last days and hours of His physical life. He is a living example of the fruit of the Spirit in action. An excellent question to ask ourselves as we prepare for the Passover is this: Are we demonstrating this same fruit in our lives?
To learn more about Christ’s sacrifice for us, read “The Greatest Sacrifice Ever.”