The Passion World Tour recently made its final stop in Sydney on Tuesday 21st October 2008. Not knowing what to expect, we arrived to a queue that stretched all the way around the Sydney Entertainment Centre. You could feel the anticipation in the air.
The evening started with music from Chris Tomlin, followed by the whole building lifting up sweet prayers of praise to Jesus as everyone prayed in triplets. I met a couple of teachers from a Christian school out west who were lovely. More music followed and then a talk by Louie Giglio. He spoke on 2 Corinthians 5:
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we night become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor 5:14-21
It was interesting to note Giglio's different preaching style. He was more a storyteller than an exegetical preacher, which I am more accustomed to, but I thought he was a very good speaker, clear and accessible. His main point was that if we truly understood what these words in 2 Corinthians meant, if we actually comprehended the magnitude of what Yahweh has done for us in Jesus, then we would be absolutely blown away. Additionally, once comprehending this message in ‘High Definition’ we would have no other response than to give our lives in worship to this most awesome, merciful and majestic God. By using this passage Giglio explained the concept of grace as God doing what we ourselves could not accomplish.
We also heard a personal testimony of how an atheist student (Ashley) became a Christian. Her journey went through an unfulfilling relationship, which led to a Christian girl moving in with her, which led to her realising the truth about Jesus and Christians – that we are all imperfect, but made perfect in Christ. Sadly we were told that only a few months after becoming a Christian, Ashley died in a car accident. All that I could think of was that she was saved. Although she had only been a Christian for three months, she was saved and so this tragedy wasn’t a tragedy at all, but God’s very merciful work in bringing her to himself. God is awesome.
It was a new experience for me to be amongst those who worship with song, dance and music. It is evident that worship is not limited to singing or a two-hour concert but in fact a transformation of one’s life, worshipping Him with our whole lives in living for Jesus each and every day. Nevertheless, there is something wonderful about raising our voices to the Lord as a congregation. The Bible speaks of it on numerous occasions as a right response to the Lord (Ps 100:2; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16), and singing praises and prayers to Jesus together with 8000 brothers and sisters was genuinely encouraging and joyous.
Even though I know of many people who were skeptical about Passion and what it was actually on about, I have to say that Jesus' name was exalted, and that the whole event was very Christ-centred. The gospel was explained clearly, and we had a great night of singing praises to our God! It blows me away how God works in this world. And being amongst that many students exalting God's holy name was something that would have been sad to miss.
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