Posted by Unknown |

The Passion

I have a bit of work to do today but I want to write about The Passion of the Christ before I do that.

It was an interesting movie. I spent the whole film thinking "This is marvelous" and "This is terrible". It was a great and horrid film. I want to see it again. Rarely does a film make me want to cry, but this one did.

It seems to me that the critics are mainly saying that it's extremely violent, beautifully shot, a bit un-inventive. I can see where they are coming from. For people who don't know the Jesus story, it's probably intriguing but doesn't really give you a good insight into Jesus. Garth at Dark Horizons said that "we see what happened to Jesus, we understand very little about why."

I think it would have been nice to see more of what got Jesus to the cross, and less of Him there, but this isn't meant to be a nice story. The relentless violence left me hanging out for the flashbacks. I wanted to see Jesus not bloodied and beaten up. But in the end I didn't mind. The lack of backstory was no issue for me. It's a story I've been interacting with all my life. I know the backstory, I know who Jesus is, and I know what got Him to the cross. And knowing that, and being a follower of Jesus, and one who loves Him so dearly, it was so agonising to see Him go through so much. Seeing Jesus' punishment, so often through the eyes of Mary, made the pain all the more immediate. There was a point right at the beginning when Jesus was before the Sanhedrin and one of His accusers hit Jesus in the face. "You can't do that to Jesus!" I wanted to jump up on the screen and smack that guy in the mouth. I can understand Peter cutting the soldier's ear off. You can't hurt Jesus, He's Jesus. Soon though, I realised what the rest film was going to be about. Just lots of Jesus going through horrible pain, and it wasn't going to let up, and Jesus wasn't getting out of it. And so I braced myself for the rest of the brutal film. By about half way through I was desensitizing to the violence. There was just so much, I switched that part of my brain off.

I thought Pilate was great. I've always liked Pilate, he's always been such an interesting person. So torn, so close to doing the right thing, so close to using his power for good, so close to saving Jesus. But in the end he was swayed by other people and their pressures on him. I've always identified with him because he's so real, he seems so like me. I'd love to think when it came down to it, I'd do the right thing, I'd stand up for Jesus, I wouldn't condemn an innocent man, but I'm scared I'd wimp out.

There was one point with Pilate where Jesus was standing there covered in blood and looking as pitiful as any man could be, and Pilate said to Jesus: "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" And Jesus turned to him and looked him in the eye and said "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above." And I wanted to jump up and shout "Yeah Baby!" Because there, for a glimpse, we saw Jesus for who He was. He wasn't a broken man, a weak, beaten up, insignificant human. He was a King. The Son of God, one who commands angels, and created the world. There was glory underneath and you knew Jesus could do whatever he wanted to. And so He chose to die.

And that's all I have to say about that.