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Passion of Christ- Mel Gibson's Act of Faith

by Jessie Jacob

The Oscar-winning, multi talented Mel Gibson's interview on ABC was exciting to watch. Mr. Gibson emerged as a man with strong convictions about his faith as he detailed his own passions for alcohol, drugs etc. which brought him close to suicide once. On TV, he witnessed how Christ's passion helped him overcome his battles in life. This personal experience is what prompted him to put his artistry and fortune ($30M) at the service of his conviction and faith which doesn't happen often in Hollywood. This powerful witnessing coming from an unexpected source is what urged me to watch the movie.

It is a harsh and blood drenching movie that is unsuitable for young viewers (pre-teens), but works powerfully for those who can endure it. It is a teaching tool that depicts man's inhumanity to man which is alive in the society even after Jesus' death. If one evaluates the movie on what it intended to do rather than what it should have done, it's clear that Gibson wanted to make graphic and inescapable the price that Jesus paid when he died a torturous death for our sins. Even though the suffering was unbearable to watch, it melts your heart with the feeling one has when you sit at the feet of our Lord with total helplessness. The two hours are surely an agony through which your silent and continuous weeping cleanses you completely as it did with Mary Magdalene. The movie truly was a cinematic equivalent of a touching Good Friday service or a true confession.

What touched me the most was the unchanging nature of mankind that is a true depiction of the society centuries later. There are many characters, each with his own motive, some good, some not, each representing his own self interests and not his religion. There is the established priesthood which saw Jesus' message of a new covenant a threat to their status quo. Then there is the Roman empire with its political aspirations. The movie shows how politics and religion was at an unfortunate crossroad causing the shedding of innocent blood for their own existence. Among this, the movie also shows glimpses of simple hearted people like the two Marys overlooking the evil in human with broken hearts, Symon, the Jew who shared the burden of Jesus' cross, the robber on the right who sees the unfairness in Jesus' crucifixion. It all makes you wonder about one's own nature-you can't help but ask yourself at the end which character would I have been had I lived at the time of Jesus.

It was also interesting to watch how several characters asked Jesus to prove that he is the God by performing miracles like King Herod, the robber on the left etc. Often we too ask God to do miracles for our physical comforts, to strengthen our faith or to just believe in a God that our physical senses can't experience. Many like the robber on the right didn't need Jesus to show his power for they understood that the biggest miracle was the love of God exhibited on the cross for our sins. If we can experience that love and share it with others, we're experiencing God and we won't need miracles to believe in the God who resides in all of us.

See Also:

The Passion of the Christ: Review of the Movie - From a Christian Perspective
In my opinion, the move is exceptionally good in depicting the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ. It truthfully depicts what is in the Gospels; a few artistic liberties were taken, however, without affecting what is portrayed in the bible. And these are kept absolutely to a minimum.

The Passion of The Christ: Another Review
When I sat down this evening to write a review of The Passion of The Christ, you must imagine how profound it is for me that I am struggling with words and with the very idea of having to write about this movie. To say I am at a loss doesn't begin to express how inadequate I feel to even attempt to convey all that this movie is.

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