there’s been so much going on in the news this week that concerns what we think we know as xians…i wonder how many people actually read the bible and use that as a basis for their statements rather than saying what they think the bible says or how they feel about something based on misguided ideas.
…:: the passion of the christ
as you are preparing (and i hope ‘preparing’) to watch the passion of the Christ. . .
here are some questions to wrestle with ::…
how well do you think you know the Christ? —
“he asked his disciples, “who do people say the Son of Man is?” — mt 16
… how does this movie challenge your thinking about the Christ story?
… what kinds of conversations does this open up among its viewers?
… what are the makers of this film trying to communicate?
in the past two decades many scholars have been on a quest to construct a more ‘historical jesus’. i don’t think this is what mel gibson intends but rather do a better telling of the story about the suffering of the Christ for our sake. Christ’s passion was for our sake. now when we pray we can be confident of being heard [heb4.16] because of what christ had accomplished on that cross. i find myself praying more and more these days, “God hear me and answer because of your son, for what he did on that cross. for his sake. for his glory…please”
the press has focused its attention on the gore of the crucifixion and the jews’ responsibility in sending this man to its employment. well…the crucifixion was a bloody mess from our understanding of roman punishment. and no, the jews aren’t solely responsible for his death but our sin alltogether is what sent him here to die. he went to the cross.
“it focuses relentlessly on the price that Christ paid for redemption,” Ebert said. “and it emphasizes that Jesus wanted this to happen. His death was the instrument of his purpose, and we should be grateful to him instead of critical of those who were the instruments of his will.”
many times we read the bible as if it was rated PG but it’s much more comfortable with certain realities than we are.
for reference, here are a few biblical accounts of the crucifixion
…mt 26.67/68 :: “…then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. others slapped him and said, prophesy to us, Christ. who hit you?”
…jn 19.1 :: “…then pilate took Jesus and had him flogged”
…jn 19.32/34 :: “…the soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. but when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”
roman punishment was cruel. there are more disturbing things in the bible. just read it. however back to the film, i think it is important for us to know just how real the suffering was. sometimes we just need to see these things. we can be so numb to it. but we need to see and also respond. in addition, be prepared like i said. this will be one gory mess to stomach.
more from roger ebert [ thanks loren] “I said the film is the most violent I have ever seen. It will probably be the most violent you have ever seen. This is not a criticism but an observation; the film is unsuitable for younger viewers, but works powerfully for those who can endure it. The MPAA’s R rating is definitive proof that the organization either will never give the NC-17 rating for violence alone, or was intimidated by the subject matter. If it had been anyone other than Jesus up on that cross, I have a feeling that NC-17 would have been automatic.”
…:: bush supports constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages is it a front? prehaps but frankly i dont care. is it a good thing? well, i think we need definitives in a time where everything is blurry. i’m not very black and white about many things but the scriptures clearly seem to show that the Gospel changes the societal status of individual groups like women and slaves except for homosexuals. i stand firm on created order. on the news i saw these signs saying God wants gay marriage. that’s not the same God i know. we’re gonna hear a lot more about this issue.
…::scorsese on infernal affairs :: last week variety reported that gangland king, scorsese, is in negotiations with WB along with brad pitt and jennifer aniston’s production company, Plan B, to re-make the Infernal Affairs trilogy. o boy o boy o boy
miramax will be releasing the original movie in the states this summer
…::update :: just saw the passion…still processing. hard to talk about a movie like this afterwards.