What does the Passion mean to you? Of course, it might not mean anything, which is okay I guess.
Sometimes I think of Jesus as an ordinary criminal who was arrested, tried, tortured, and executed. (I say “criminal” because he was, in fact, found guilty, and also because assaulting change-money guys would be illegal anywhere.)
Sometimes I picture him going through the whole process in the modern day, and frying in the electric chair. At other times I imagine what it would really have looked like–Jesus naked, sweaty, smelly, with a sign around his neck, with fifty other people crucified around him and women wailing that Middle Eastern trilling sound.
And sometimes I picture myself driving the nails into his wrists. (Yes, his wrists–not the palms. Never mind how we know that.) And with each hammer-blow, he screams. (My user name is actually a double entendre, though. Think about it.)
His disciples desperately wanted him to be a success, instead of the utter failure he appeared at the time, and so adapted their memories accordingly. And so he became an archetype.