Skip to comments.A Freeper Review of The Passion of Christ
Posted on 02/21/2004 3:50:43 PM PST by jonboy
I'm not sure where to start. I'm a fellow Freeper who also happens to be minister. I was invited today to see a screening of the Passion of the Christ at our local theater. I have been fascinated, and you might even be able to say obsessed with this movie ever since I heard about it a few months ago and first saw the trailer (I cried every time I saw it).
Given that I have watched and listened to several interviews and read several news stories about this movie I was as prepared as I thought I could be to watch it. I HAVE NEVER BEEN THROUGH ANYTHING LIKE THIS MOVIE! I sobbed, I throbbed, my Kleenex became a fairly useless mess that occupied the hand not tightly gripping the seat. IT WAS HARD TO WATCH. The cruelty was overwhelming, but approximated what we have a glimpse from in scripture. The violence and horror of what was done to Him nearly overwhelming, but not gratuitous as some have claimed.
As to the charges of anti-semitism, I can understand how a Jew who does not believe that Jesus is their Messiah would be frightened by this film. However, it was NOT anti-semitic. I could just as easily be moved to be against Italians for what the Romans did as I could be against the Jews. If one were inspired to hate the perpetrators if this event, they would be anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, anti-Japanese, and anti-__________ (fill in your own blanks). I was filled with the grim overwhelming knowledge of my own guilt as much as anything else. As I watched Him writhing in pain, the ribs virtually exposed from the beating that He had taken, as I watched His shoulder ripped out of socket as they stretched his hand to make it to the pre-drilled nail hole, as I watched the blood flowing and the breath ripped from His body from the pain, one thing entered into my mind above all else. I PUT HIM THERE! He could have come down, He could have called in excess of ten-thousand angels. He could have stopped that horrible mockery and evil in its tracks by coming down off of that cross, healing His own wounds, and then saying go to it boys as He releases the angels to take care of business. BUT HE DIDN'T. I am in awe.
I admit that I has moments when I felt like ripping the Jewish and Roman perpetrators apart. How dare they laugh in the face of such agony! How dare they spit on Him! How dare they stand in pompous, arrogant, self-righteous judgment of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (how dare MYSELF go on sinning after what He did for me)! But as the High Priest is walking away from making fun and mocking. He hears Jesus softly say, taking up precious breath, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing." The High Priest pauses in uncomfortable silence, then walks on. Later, after Jesus has died and the earthquake has damaged the temple and they are very aware that they have done something terribly wrong the High Priest is seen crying out and holding his face in grief and horror.
This movie was about love and forgiveness and about our sin and what God and His Son did together about that sin. It is about the horrible things that men do to their fellow men which can still be forgiven if they will but repent. Some of the Jews were depraved and some were compassionate. Some of the Romans were depraved, and some of them were inclined towards compassion. Anti-Jewish? NO WAY! Besides, the early church was exlusively Jewish. The movie is not about Mel Gibson having some kind of point to prove to anyone, let alone the Jews. It was Mel's passion, a labor of love. Will it profit Him? Unbelievably! Did he do it for the money, not a chance.
Were there any liberties taken with the scripture? Maybe a few. Poetic/artistic license was taken to a degree. There were some scenes with Judas that were extra Biblical, but imaginable. Surprisingly, he was shown as a somewhat sympathetic character, which is something I've felt to a degree for him. I doubt that he was a completely depraved man, he just wanted to speed things along so that Jesus would have to rise to the throne and have to take His true place. When he realized he had been horribly mis-lead he admitted guilt but then went out and killed himself. There was a scene in which the unrepentant thief had his eyes pecked out by a crow. I thought that didn't gel well with the theme of forgiveness and should have been left out. It seemed to represent Divine retribution since the thief had just been blaspheming Jesus. But the cross wasn't about retribution, that will come later at Judgment, it was about mercy.
As to this movie being appropriate for children? That's a hard call. I think it would be best if conscientous parents screened it for themselves first. It is hard enough for mature adults to stomach. However, there is something to be said for exposing young tender hearts to the truth of what He did. Maybe knowing what He did at a younger age would lead to more mature Christians later. Again, it's an individual call.
Is this movie Catholic? Yes and no. Those who see the relationship between Jesus and Mary who are Catholic will likely see Mary as divine. Those of us who believe that Mary was a mere woman who was blessed enough to have been chosen to be the mother of the Christ will see the relationship between a mother and her Son. THIS MOVIE IS FOR ALL!!! I can wholeheartedly recommend this movie to others for personal devotion or to touch the hearts of those who are lost. I believe very much that it will be a culturally defining movie and that it will break most IF NOT ALL of the box office records both nationally and world-wide. The Lord will not be silenced. I truly feel He has spoken through this movie. Maybe its His way of saying WAKE UP before He comes again. If it is, this Christian is awake (wiping away tears).
I'm sure the DVD release will make it into even more homes - maybe just in time for Christmas...
Catholics see Mary as the first Christian, the first follower of Jesus, the one who said 'yes' to God and cooperated with the Holy Spirit - not divine, that is a Protestant misunderstanding of Catholicism.
I know that the Lord gave himself for my salvation, but I cannot help but feel unworthy of seeing his sacrifice. I do not want to see Jesus suffer, because I know he does it for me. My heart will feel the sting of each blow, and my soul will cry out for them to stop.