Wednesday afternoon I sat down in a seat in my local movie theater to view one of the most controversial movies of our time, “The Passion of the Christ.” Reading all the publicity of the past few weeks, I truly did not know how I was going to react, but also, what my opinion would be. I was quite surprised.
So what did I think?
“The Passion of the Christ” is a movie that tackles multiple subjects…not just the concluding death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That I knew about before I sat down in my seat. “The Passion” is also a story about mankind left to himself. I did not find the movie anti-Semitic…on the contrary…I found the movie antihuman. Like many times in history, man can show himself to do extraordinary acts of kindness and diabolical deeds of evil. Each culture contains the possibility of both at any given time. I watched a movie where I saw someone beaten like I’ve never seen beaten before. Jesus was not just crucified, but tortured, for every ounce of life to be wrung out of Him before His death. Halfway through the movie I found my mind flashing back to memories of the past and thoughts about the future. “The Passion of the Christ” showed all the defects and glory of humanity.
In the movie “Schindler’s List,” I watched a brave man, Oskar Schindler, risk his life to save Jewish people who worked at his factory, from a nation that wanted to kill every one of them. The rage that swept through Europe during the Second World War was not only a German rage, but also a Human Wave of Evil. What happened to the Jewish people in the concentration camps was not only a stain on the Nazi’s, but also an example of mankind reduced to a violent, angry mob. “Schindler’s List” was a warning to us all. If not heeded, it is destined to repeat itself.
“The Passion of The Christ” too is a warning to us all. The Jewish people and the Roman Empire did not kill Jesus Christ….mankind did. The same evil that raged itself in World War Two Germany raged itself in the Holy Land over 2000 years ago. WE, mankind, as a collective body, which allows such evil to roam free, are responsible for both of these acts. “The Passion” involved fear, politics, misunderstandings, hate, anger, strength, determination, love, and forgiveness. Quite a journey packed into two hours on the screen! Jesus says in one part of the movie, “If they can do this to me, what do you think they can do to you?” This was truly, I believe, His thoughts regarding mankind left unchecked. Yes, indeed the violence was numbing, but as Jesus carried the cross through the streets, while being beaten by the Roman soldiers, you could easily feel yourself leaping into the movie to carry the cross with Him. I found myself saying, “Hang in there Jesus…you don’t have much farther to go to get Home!”
Myself being a mother, the scenes between Mary and Jesus brought me to tears on more than one occasion. The connection of love between them was palpable….imagine a mother having to watch her Son being brutalized, and nailed to a cross? an angry mob attacking Him? All of the acting was superb, but the scenes between Mary and Jesus will stay in my mind forever. Academy Award level, for sure.
“The Passion of The Christ” is a statement of how mankind can be caught up in the atmosphere of anger and hate, and the random acts of kindness of some who helped Him accomplish His mission. In the blink of an eye, we too can choose acts that swing both ways…to learn right from wrong is our dilemma. Until Peace, Love, and Brotherhood circle our world, who killed Jesus Christ? we all did.
Follow the Footsteps to Heaven,
love, Jennifer Avalon
(c) 2004 Jennifer Avalon