bits from bob....
I went to see the movie, "The Passion of Christ," last Sunday afternoon along with several others from the church here. I do not want to ruin the movie for those who have not yet seen it, so I will save most of my comments for a future article or discussion.
The movie is generally accurate in the essentials of the gospel accounts, but is not intended to be perfectly literal and contains symbolism -- "Hollywood license." Regardless, it is undoubtedly a moving account with the ability to touch the hearts and minds of many people in our post-modern world. It is powerful and communicates what many, even Christians, have never seen in reading the Bible. I personally liked the way in which Simon was cast as one who helped Jesus carry the cross. The scourging was not as severe as I had imagined in my studies of that form of punishment. I could wish for more focus on the resurrection, but I understand that was not the point of the movie. Finally, I note that one must watch with an open mind, both to appreciate the beauty of the message, and to screen subtle references to Mother Mary, the Shroud of Turin, and original sin, among others.
My heart and thoughts were touched in many ways, but here I mention only three.
I. I appreciate more the humanity of Jesus--his ability and desire to identify with us as our example and guide. The movie showed me a very human Jesus, focused in relationships, concern for others, and strong resolve. I appreciate his strength, especially in our day when many have made him out to be a weak, selfish, even deceived person.
II. I appreciate more the divinity of Jesus. I was impressed anew with the fact that Jesus shed his blood for me. The sheer power of the cross overwhelms when one sees clearly.
III. I am reminded of the cost of Christianity. Jesus paid a terrible price in his suffering and death for me. It is unthinkable that my commitment to him would be evidenced by periodic and infrequent worship, inattention in my daily life to his claims, and lack of willingness to tell the good news of Jesus to every person who is willing to listen and even to those who are not.
In a world that little respects the demands of being a Christian, these great truths work in me a recommitment, a passion, to giving him my entire life. Will you join me in a passionate resolve to follow Jesus--regardless of the cost?
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