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JIM CAVIEZEL WHO PLAYED CHRIST REVEALS HIS DEEPEST HOPE FOR THE MEL GIBSON FILM
CHRISTIAN NEWS TODAY ^ | 2/04 | DAN WOODING

Posted on 02/28/2004 5:05:16 AM PST by Liz

(Pictured: Mel Gibson (director/producer) directs Jim Caviezel (Jesus) for The Passion of The Christ, a film by Mel Gibson. © 2003 Icon Distribution Inc. All Rights Reserved. A Newmarket Films release. Photo credit: Philippe Antonello).

“My prayer is that I don’t want people to see me in the film; I only want them to see Christ,” he says

By Dan Wooding

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (ANS) -- Jim Caviezel, the talented actor who portrays Christ in the movie, “The Passion of The Christ,” which focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life, has revealed his deepest hope for the film. (Pictured: Jim Caviezel, who portrays Christ in the movie. -- Picture by Dan Wooding.)

“My prayer is that I don’t want people to see me in the film; I only want them to see Christ,” he told a group of journalist in Beverly Hills recently.

Caviezel, who has soulful blue eyes, and a dark, almost eerie kind of good looks, was born in Mount Vernon on September 26, 1968. One of five children, he grew up as part of a devout Catholic family and has starred in many films and in 1998 Caviezel had his breakthrough role in The Thin Red Line. The film received a number of Oscar nominations, and its stellar ensemble cast, which included Ben Chaplin, Sean Penn, George Clooney, and Nick Nolte, earned almost unanimous acclaim.

He has starred in many movies since then including his portrayal of a football coach's embittered son in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. In 2000, Caviezel starred in the supernatural thriller Frequency, playing the son of a long-dead man (Any Given Sunday co-star Dennis Quaid) with whom he is able to communicate over ham radio and he took the lead in the period adventure The Count of Monte Cristo (2002).

But he has never worked on a movie like his latest with his as Jesus Christ himself in Mel Gibson's The Passion (2004) in which he was struck by lightening during the filming and endured his shoulder being was separated during the crucifixion sequence.

Caviezel revealed what it was like during the making of the film that was shot in southern Italy and in Rome.

“I would start with the makeup at 2:00 AM and at 10:00 AM we were ready for me to start the cross,” he said.

He said that the actual crucifixion filming, things got really difficult for him. “I separated my shoulder and then my eye began to cause me to hyper focus,” he said. “I also had to learn to breathe while on the cross. I would then have to get up early in the morning and go through the whole cycle again and then you have to take off the make up and it takes about two hours to take off and you sit the in the shower for about 25 minutes and then you start to sweat. I would have to drink water because I was dehydrated and then hypothermia would start to kick up during the day. Beside my problem with my shoulder, the wind would come up and it was like the Grand Canyon and the wind would go right through you.

“My shoulder would experience terrific pain because of the wind hitting the cross and it kept pulling the shoulder out of joint and making me go insane. This was going on over and over again, plus I was getting only three to four and a half hours of sleep. When you go to sleep at night and you have hypothermia, I don’t care how many sweats you put on, you shake through the night. So I would wake up and be shaking and then I would go to work and the skin was starting to become raw. When they were putting on the make up, I would shout, ‘Ouch, please don’t touch me here. You are hurting my shoulder.’

“That went on for five weeks just for the crucifixion. We would start on Monday and go through to Saturday night. On Sunday, I would go to church and then on Monday I would start the cycle over again.

“At the same time, I had to lift weights for my quadriceps to be able to take the weight of the cross. They would put me on for about 12 minutes at a time and so all my weight was going into my right leg.

STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

“Then I got struck my lightning. I was on Golgotha when it happened. It almost makes you want to quit. I can tell you that Jesus wasn’t smiling on the cross. It really hurts, but as an actor, I didn’t go through anything that He went through. I was reading a book and read that he has suffered over 5,000 blows to His body and that really meant something.

“During the scourging scene, I got hit. When they came in with these whips, they were supposed to hit a metal board behind me, but one of them hit me square in the back. You know what happened? I went ‘ouch’ and I couldn’t breathe. It was an automatic response. When the guy hit me, I said something I shouldn’t have. I added, ‘I know I am playing Jesus, but I feel like Satan right now.’ Mistakes happen, but you’re the mistake it’s not pleasant.”

He also talked about the horror of crucifixion. “When you are on the cross, you die by asphyxiation,” he said. “You can’t breathe. When I was up there, my legs were going numb and then my forceps would go numb. I could get diaphragm activated to get the air into my chest. They would bring me food and I would turn around and wretch right there on the cross. It’s amazing. You would see people laughing. People love watching people suffer. It’s amazing. There were others who couldn’t stop watching because they were in love with Christ – yet I’m not Him!”

He revealed how strange it was for him during the filming. “People came up to me and called me Jesus, but I never felt adequate that I was Him. The first thing I said to Mel was, ‘If we don’t carry our cross, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it.’ He was under attack. The same time that he was directing, he fighting wars all over the place. I don’t know how he finished this thing. It was a miracle. God gave us just barely enough to get through.

“I knew what I was in for when I took this film, but I had no idea it would go in the direction it did. The only thing that scared me where the three languages, as I barely knew Latin, but knew nothing about Aramaic and old Hebrew was foreign to learn.”

When asked how it had changed him playing Jesus, he replied, “I now know Him in a more personal way that I have. I am proud of this film because it is the truth. It is as it was even though some have tried to discredit that line.”

He then talked about meeting Billy Graham. “I got to be with him for three hours and he is a wonderful man,” he said. “I remember watching him on TV one night and I wanted to be one of those people that walked out. When we met, I told him, ‘I believe you carry the Holy Spirit with you; I believe you are a holy man.’

“This film is under such controversy. I told someone who said that he had heard it was a very controversial film, and I said, ‘Have you seen other passion play that wasn’t? Where they killed a good man?’ Jesus didn’t die for some mythological story, he didn’t die for fantasy.

“I don’t think I could have done this film without the faith that I have. During the day, when you work with an academy-award-winning director like Mel Gibson, why wouldn’t you do a film that is based on the Gospels, but I tell you, it scared just about everyone away. It scared financiers. It is controversial. Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace to the world, but I came with a sword.”

Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times). Wooding is also a syndicated columnist, and was for ten years a commentator on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 41 books, one of which is "Blind Faith" which he co-authored with his 93-year-old mother Anne Wooding, who was a pioneer missionary to the blind of Nigeria in the 1930s. Copies of this book are available from the ASSIST USA office at PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126. t.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caviezel; thepassion
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" I don’t think I could have done this film without the faith that I have......you work with an academy-award-winning director like Mel Gibson....it scared just about everyone away. It scared financiers. It is controversial. Jesus said, 'I did not come to bring peace to the world, but I came with a sword.'"

Not to worry Jim, Christians, the only people who really count, loved the film, turning it into an earth-shattering, life-changing phenom. In Hollywood terms---the only thing they know---that translates into an amazing $100 million opening-to-weekend estimated gross.

1 posted on 02/28/2004 5:05:17 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
I was very surprised with this guy, not your typical "actor".

I hear part of Rush replayed a few hours ago. He called in and gave credibility to the endeavor and pointed out that even as the movie was being filmed the trouble makers were out in full force.

2 posted on 02/28/2004 5:08:12 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Liz
Has anyone else notice this actors initials? J.C.
3 posted on 02/28/2004 5:09:52 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory; All
I saw the film last night.

I didn't notice Jim, I saw "Jesus". Powerful stuff. Brutal, but powerful.

4 posted on 02/28/2004 5:16:33 AM PST by GulfWar1Vet (Do you believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life?)
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To: Liz
“I now know Him in a more personal way that I have. I am proud of this film because it is the truth. It is as it was even though some have tried to discredit that line.”

How powerful is THAT?

5 posted on 02/28/2004 5:22:37 AM PST by Neets (In favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.)
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To: Liz
Jim Caviezel was the most believable Jesus Christ I have ever seen. The flashbacks to his Sermon on the Mount and his Last Supper Scene were beautifully portayed. I did not see Caviezel in a role but I thought I really saw Jesus. His eyes were filled with warmth and love. His voice was filled with love in every scene even after his brutal scourging by drunken soldiers recruited for pay by Rome.

Later today I will post my own personal review of Mel's Passion. The film was brutal and violent but I was not repelled by the film in the least. It was not "too violent" by todays standards. It was a beautiful testiment to the divinity of The Christ!

Read reports Click Here

6 posted on 02/28/2004 5:23:44 AM PST by ex-Texan
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To: longtermmemmory
"Has anyone else notice this actors initials? J.C."

And he's 33, according to his interview on Leno last night.
7 posted on 02/28/2004 5:25:00 AM PST by keats5 (And don't you dare correct my spelling!)
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To: Liz
“My prayer is that I don’t want people to see me in the film; I only want them to see Christ,” he says...

Mission accomplished.

8 posted on 02/28/2004 5:25:33 AM PST by New Horizon
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To: longtermmemmory; WKB
Has anyone else notice this actors initials? J.C.

And that he is 33 years of age. Yes someone told me.

9 posted on 02/28/2004 5:28:07 AM PST by onyx
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To: longtermmemmory
Has anyone else notice this actors initials? J.C.

Pax TV played a documentary on the making of The Passion. Caveizel told Mel Gibson after he hired him for the film, "You know, I'm 33 years old and my initials are J.C."

10 posted on 02/28/2004 5:30:32 AM PST by alnick
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To: Liz
I saw the film last night. It was a 5:15 matinee and the theater was full. The 7:00 pm showing was already sold out. As a commercial venture, it’s a blockbuster.

The artistry was wonderful; great acting and outstanding cinematography. But this film’s value is on a much more personal level. This film will enhance whatever faith or belief you bring into the theater.

Christians – at least this Christian – tend to have a sanitized version of Jesus, his birth, ministry and death. Especially his death. We know that “scourging” and “crucifixion” are brutal, but I always intellectualized these events. OK, he was whipped, a crown of thorns was put on his head and he was put on a cross, dying after a few hours and in his dying atoned for my sins.

This film puts into context and forces you to face the fact that his torture and execution were so brutal that modern man would turn away. The Passion shows the physical agony and actual torture Jesus offered himself up to so that we may, if we believe in him, can be cleansed of our sin. It forces you to look, and see the evil that is in man, what we are truly capable of when we let go. It brought into sharp focus the actual sacrifice that Jesus made for me. And in that sacrifice, the love he has for those who follow him.

Peace.

11 posted on 02/28/2004 5:41:49 AM PST by moneyrunner (I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed to its idolatries a patient knee.)
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To: Liz
Jesus said, 'I did not come to bring peace to the world, but I came with a sword.'"

Amen. Jesus wasn't much into tolerating evil.

12 posted on 02/28/2004 5:44:04 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: ex-Texan
Jim Caviezel was the most believable Jesus Christ I have ever seen. The flashbacks to his Sermon on the Mount and his Last Supper Scene were beautifully portayed. I did not see Caviezel in a role but I thought I really saw Jesus. His eyes were filled with warmth and love. His voice was filled with love in every scene even after his brutal scourging by drunken soldiers recruited for pay by Rome.

My feelings exactly. In all other "Jesus movies" I've been very conscious of the actor playing Jesus. "Why did they pick him?" Jim was Jesus.

13 posted on 02/28/2004 5:47:00 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: kstewskis; Victoria Delsoul; barbcsr; Uncle Jaque; DallasMike; karenbarinka; dakine; lonevoice; ...

Something a little more soothing for your soul.

I hope you're all having a wonderful start to the Lenten Season.

God Bless!


14 posted on 02/28/2004 5:47:25 AM PST by Northern Yankee ( Freedom needs a soldier...)
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To: Liz
"If we don't carry the weight of our cross, we will be crushed by it."

Whoa. What a point! Well taken.
15 posted on 02/28/2004 5:48:45 AM PST by MarcoPolo
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To: longtermmemmory
Has anyone else notice this actors initials? J.C.

Months before he was selected for the part a stranger approached him and told him that he was going to play Jesus in a movie.

No kidding.

16 posted on 02/28/2004 5:48:51 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: alnick
Well I just reinvented the wheel.

mental note: too much FR.
17 posted on 02/28/2004 5:50:41 AM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: Liz
Stunning movie! Bttt
18 posted on 02/28/2004 5:56:20 AM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: Northern Yankee
I saw the movie "Frequency" and didn't realize it was the same guy.
19 posted on 02/28/2004 5:58:01 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Aquinasfan
Jesus wan't much into tolerating evil.

Exactly right!

He cleaned house in the Temple.

20 posted on 02/28/2004 6:00:09 AM PST by Northern Yankee ( Freedom needs a soldier...)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
I too saw that movie, and never made the connection.

Good Morning.

Have you seen The Passion of the Christ yet?

I'll see it tomorrow. (Already have the tickets.)

21 posted on 02/28/2004 6:02:15 AM PST by Northern Yankee ( Freedom needs a soldier...)
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To: moneyrunner
I agree -- it is one thing to read the story in the Bible and try to imagine what Jesus endured, but to see it portrayed in such a graphically powerful manner is truly humbling. It really hits home.

We anticipate seeing the movie again in addition to buying the DVD.

22 posted on 02/28/2004 6:05:16 AM PST by prairie dog
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To: Liz
While I understand his point about not wanting to be viewed as Jesus, and acknowledging that his point is well taken, you can't help but love him too.
23 posted on 02/28/2004 6:06:44 AM PST by AlbionGirl ("Ha cambiato occhi per la coda.")
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To: Liz
The guy sure whines a lot.
24 posted on 02/28/2004 6:09:58 AM PST by novacation
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To: onyx
And that he is 33 years of age. Yes someone told me.

He was born September 26, 1968. He was 35 last September, so he was 33 during the shooting of the film. Amazing.

25 posted on 02/28/2004 6:10:50 AM PST by itsinthebag
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To: itsinthebag

Right. It is rather uncanny, isn't it?
26 posted on 02/28/2004 6:17:58 AM PST by onyx
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To: Northern Yankee
Good Morning,

We're seeing Passion at the historic Boyd Theater in Bethlehem, PA on Sunday afternoon. This theater was never torn down, and it's very LARGE. They're not selling in advance, so hopefully, if we get there early enough, and wait in line, we'll get tickets.

We're meeting other family members there and plan to add to the blockbuster success of the first week!

27 posted on 02/28/2004 6:19:55 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: itsinthebag
Wow, I recall reading somewhere, Christ's actual birth was in September, around the time of the trumpets, atonemants and feasts holy days, because December was actually Christ's conception. Pretty cool .
28 posted on 02/28/2004 6:21:52 AM PST by bluegrass
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To: Northern Yankee
The historic Boyd Theater in Bethlehem, PA

http://www.bethlehemarea.com/boyd3/history.htm
29 posted on 02/28/2004 6:22:48 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: moneyrunner
expressed so well.. thank you.
30 posted on 02/28/2004 6:30:45 AM PST by DollyCali (2004: Opportunity for love, growth, giving, doing..... It is our choice.)
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To: Liz
I've never been particularly fond of Caviezel as an actor before, but he was splendid in this role. Surprisingly so.
31 posted on 02/28/2004 6:31:47 AM PST by CobaltBlue
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To: Aquinasfan
This tells us it's OK for Christians to get mad at secularists. The constant demeaning and trivializing of Christians and Christian beliefs is over. We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore.
32 posted on 02/28/2004 6:35:56 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
bttt
33 posted on 02/28/2004 6:36:16 AM PST by Guenevere (..., .Press on toward the goal!)
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To: Liz; american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; CAtholic Family Association; narses; ...

‘If we don’t carry our cross, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it.’

Catholic Ping - let me know if you want on/off this list


34 posted on 02/28/2004 6:38:45 AM PST by NYer (Ad Jesum per Mariam)
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To: CobaltBlue
Even Clark Gable's star didn't shine til he played Rhett Butler.
35 posted on 02/28/2004 6:40:20 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz
I had hopes for him as an actor when I saw him as a presenter at the Dove Awards (Christian Music) several years ago. When so few actors were acknowledging their faith, I thought "this takes guts".
36 posted on 02/28/2004 6:44:23 AM PST by mollynme (cogito, ergo freepum)
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To: Liz
This movie was a Renaissance masters painting come to life in sight and sound and emotion with 2004 technology.
37 posted on 02/28/2004 6:53:00 AM PST by ezoeni
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To: Just mythoughts
....even as the movie was being filmed the trouble makers were out in full force.....

And at the top of the list of troublemakers is John F Kerry. Kerry said (Reuters News Service. "Democrat Kerry Urges Caution on 'Passion,' 26 February 2004, by Patricia Wilson). he is "unsure" about the top-rated film, that he might not have time to see it, and that we should use "caution" about such films. Huh?

As the presidential front-runner, Kerry's comments are loaded with meaning for the future of the United States of America. Kerry worships abortion, the homosexual agenda, and the stripping away of every Christian symbol in America. Kerry is against everything Christians stand for.

Kerry could have said so many things to assure the millions of Christians who are pouring into theatres to see the film that their concerns were going to be part of his campaign. Kerry prefers to kowtow to a tiny minority of secularists, the very same groups that have contributed to be the death of American culture.

Kerry is appealing to the lowest common denominator, a tiny minority of voters, a ragtag cadre of naysayers who are categorically against the Passion film.

Who's kidding who? Kerry is pandering to secularists in order to get campaign dollars and voting blocs. He is appealing to the Hollywood types who fear they will lose their chokehold on American culture.

Secularists have vastly profited from perpetuating the anti-Christian culture and would prefer to keep Christians subdued and marginalized. Kerry's ill-conceived remarks show that he will strengthen secularists power over Christian America.

Kerry's comments and his positions on social issues must reach every Christian pastor, church, and group in America. These are the things Christian voters are thinking about:

(1) Kerry's comments about The Passion movie have effectively disqualified him from holding the highest office in Christian America.

(2) Transparently anti-Christian candidates do not deserve Christian votes.

(3) Candidates carrying Bibles and going to church (the Clintons) but who vote against everything Christians believe in are not going to fool Christians again a they have in the past.

(4) Abortion, the institution of marriage, Christian symbols in American life are very important issues and must be addressed.

(5) The future of America depends on which candidate supports Christian issues. Kerry has demonstrated that he need not apply.

38 posted on 02/28/2004 6:53:10 AM PST by Liz
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To: Liz; Neets
He also talked about the horror of crucifixion. “When you are on the cross, you die by asphyxiation,” he said. “You can’t breathe. When I was up there, my legs were going numb and then my forceps would go numb.


39 posted on 02/28/2004 6:57:05 AM PST by Lazamataz (Dangerously is the Sahara dust.)
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To: Liz
I saw it last night with my son. All I can say is WOW!!! I still cannot find the words. at the end of the movie, everybody started clapping, then we all sat in silence for about five mins.
40 posted on 02/28/2004 7:06:13 AM PST by Beeline40@aol.com
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To: Lazamataz
Laz--he either meant forearms, or was misquoted.
41 posted on 02/28/2004 7:08:27 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Liz
bttt
42 posted on 02/28/2004 7:18:59 AM PST by tutstar ( <{{---><)
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To: Liz
Isn't it amazing the stir that Christ created over 2000 years ago and it seems as though history repeated itself as the controversy over this film has emerged.
43 posted on 02/28/2004 7:19:44 AM PST by LoudRepublicangirl (loudrepublicangirl)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
Good luck, and may God be with you!

My mother and brother will be going with me tomorrow.

My wife is taking our two daughters to a string concert at the same time.

44 posted on 02/28/2004 7:24:33 AM PST by Northern Yankee ( Freedom needs a soldier...)
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To: longtermmemmory
I noticed that his initials were J.C and during the making of the film he was 33.
45 posted on 02/28/2004 7:25:51 AM PST by navygal (phillipians 4:13)
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To: LoudRepublicangirl
it seems as though history repeated itself as the controversy over this film has emerged.
----
I plan on seeing the movie today. I have seen shorts on TV. The portion where Satan is talking to Jesus in the garden. Satan suggests to Jesus that no one will remember or care.
I think Satan is very busy at this very moment fueling critic controversy. The latest controversy is that this film is too "bloody" graphic to be viewed. Satan would love to shut this movie down so that no one will remember or care and to keep His sacrifice hidden from view.

The gospels suggest that by his stripes we were healed. It's obvious to me that Satan doesn't want us to see those stripes.
46 posted on 02/28/2004 7:44:21 AM PST by juzcuz
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To: GulfWar1Vet
I didn't notice Jim, I saw "Jesus".

Same here. Highest accomplishment in acting, IMO. That said, I am very much looking forward to special features on the DVD release, where I can see the actor at work in his craft. Jim called Rush yesterday and discussed the outtakes from the whipping scene...how he had been inadvertantly hit not once but twice...the scars that left...how it left him beyond breathless and completely unable to act. I hope his discussion of this is on the DVD.

47 posted on 02/28/2004 7:49:54 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: Aquinasfan; Liz
I am still digesting and meditating on the changes this movie has wrought in me (or that God has wrought in me throught it). One verse of scripture keeps popping to the surface of my thoughts like a baloon that can't be restrained under water:

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

I had to look it up in context. I am glad that I did.

48 posted on 02/28/2004 7:57:30 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: Liz
Regardless of any shortcomings in Mel's movie, it is the right message at the right time.    A wise preacher once told me: if I got turned around and lost my way, I should go back to the cross and get my bearings.

It is obvious that a lot of people in our compound republic have professed themselves to be wise and have become fools.    But God has promised: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles|7:14

So we don't have to wait for somebody else to see the error of their ways and repent, we can get a head start on healing our land.    I believe that Mel's movie will have a lot of God's people going back to the cross this Easter so, during this crucial election year, maybe we will all have a better idea of just which way we want to go.

49 posted on 02/28/2004 8:03:12 AM PST by al_possum39
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To: moneyrunner
Well stated. I saw the film with a friend last night. The theater was also packed, and absolutely silent during the entire showing.

My friend began to feel faint and had to leave the theater before the crucifixion. It was very hard to watch the horrific treatment Jesus received, even knowing that it was an actor in makeup. I would never have missed seeing the film; it really brought home to me how horribly he suffered for us. The magnitude of his sacrifice has been diminished over the years, and words on a printed page just don't have the power of a screen portrayal. I am very grateful to Mel Gibson for having brought this to the screen.

50 posted on 02/28/2004 8:07:05 AM PST by Think free or die
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