I saw the film, The Passion of the Christ for the first time in college. I remember the credits rolling and the entire theater was silent. Reverent, in fact. My roommates and I drove home in silence and went to bed without saying a word. All I could see as I lay down to sleep that night were Jesus’ eyes. Bold; full of love and power.
Since then I’ve always wanted to watch The Passion again alone, devotionally. This Thursday night, after I coaxed Finn to bed and cuddled underneath my Baylor blanket, I watched in tears and with gratitude Hollywood’s depiction of my Lord’s bloody death.
- The opening scene is in the Garden. Jesus is begging God in his humanness, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” He was born for this moment; he knew he had to die to accomplish his goal on earth. But he still embraces his fear and asks God to change His mind. I’ve always related to that kind of praying.
- People like the Pharisees who pride themselves in doing good things and earning religious gold stars are Jesus’ enemies. Jesus didn’t fit into their ideal of who the Messiah should be. They expected him to be haughty, kingly, wealthy and bedazzled as they were. But he came as a servant, a carpenter born in a trough. He offered wine at a wedding, healing for the pariah and grace for the prostitute. So he must die.
Christ Jesus, who being in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness…he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! (Phil. 2: 6-8)
- His death was not Sunday School clean. It doesn’t fit nicely on a VBS felt board. It was brutal, dirty, vicious slaughter.
- His momma was there through it all. Mary is my hero. She endured the shame of claiming to be a pregnant virgin at the inception of Jesus’ life and endured the horror of watching him mocked and abused at its end.
- All other gods in all other religions are dead. Jesus is alive. He is life.
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen!
(Luke 24: 5,6)
He who was dead lives. Why do we, who are alive, often live as though we’re dead?