Monday, 26 March 2012
The other day in the Adult Sunday School/Bible Study I am a part of at church, we were going through the passages discussing Jesus' suffering prior to his crucifixion. As we got more into the verses, the instructor played for us the scourging scene from Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ.
As we watched the clip, I watched as well but I also watched the reactions of the people around me; some looked stunned, some look horrified and some even wept. I watched, but the gut wrenching feeling that I get when I watch this movie was still there.
When The Passion of The Christ was still in theaters, I watched it three times. Since it's been out I have watched it an additional three times and yet every single time the movie still leaves me with pain on the inside to see the words of the Prophet Isaiah being acted out in front of me: "by his stripes/wounds we are healed," Isaiah 53:5.
As I watched it, I took to identifying with the Roman soldiers who took to beating and ripping out and apart Jesus' flesh, for as I watched it I recognize that I too am guilty. I too am responsible for Jesus' death. I too am part of the reason why he went to the cross to die.
But the story doesn't end there, because it would be your typical execution in that day and age if Jesus simply died. What made it atypical is that Jesus didn't die -- period. He died, but three days later he rose again -- he rose again!
Jesus' death and resurrection was for the sins of humanity, for everyone, "that whomever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life," John 3:16.
I am glad the movie still affects me in a deep and troubling way, because I feel that it helps me to provide me with a visual of just how much suffering Jesus went through in his death and resurrection. Because it is in this selfless act of Agape -- God's unconditional love, love so I can go through my own physical death and spiritual resurrection -- that I am able to die to myself and live unto him on a day-to-day basis. For this is the reason to live, for this is how I am able to follow Christ and make him known to those around me. It is how I can extend the grace that I have received to others, it is how I can follow out The Great Commission, it is how I can live a life of love, it is how I am able to serve God by serving others.
Does watching The Passion of the Christ today still leave you with the same feeling it did the first time you watched it? How does the movie affect you? How does the knowledge of Jesus' sacrifice affect your life?