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).
"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb. And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy [is] His name." - Luke 1:41-49Catholics properly venerate the Mother of God.
"All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."515 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.517 Catholic Catechism"There are not many people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church, but thousands of people who hate what they mistakenly believe the Catholic Church to be."
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
In the Catholic Catechism. LOL
On a more serious note there is scripture supporting intercessors in heaven. I'd be happy to find some if you'd like. In fact:
In Revelation, John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8).
I pray that prayer every day, in imitation of the Angel Gabriel and St. Elizabeth. I guess they were necromancers too. ;)
have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, Mat 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
"....I could just as easily be moved to be against Italians for what the Romans did as I could be against the Jews...."
Kind of puts all this ginned up manic hysteria over the supposed anti-semitic leanings of the film in perspective doesn't it.
Heh, nice visual image there :)
And the verse in the Bible that states this is....?
The same way you can ask a living person to pray for you. Like the Bible verse says, "Just as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
PAX is on:
DirecTV channel 255
Dish Network channel 181
Cable TV channel varies
"My mother is a devout Catholic (mass every day) and she said she won't see it. I think it's the violence."
I admire these women for their decisions and I think they are very wise to have thought this through before rushing off to see the movie. I have been concerned by what I consider to be somewhat shallow, rah-rah attitudes from many who are anxious to "show their support" for this film. From all that I have read, it is not going to be a walk through the park.......rather, it's going to be a profoundly disturbing portrayal of the brutality that Jesus suffered. I intend to thoroughly prepare myself before going to see this movie, and I sincerely hope that others will do the same. I think one of the worst things that could happen to this film would be for Christians to unthinkingly flock to it simply to "show their support" and then wind up fleeing the theater and criticizing the film as being "too violent."