The Passion: A Mel Gibson Film : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

My wife and I saw the film last night. I consider it the best depiction of the Passion I've ever seen. With the sufferings of the Christ center stage, all who see it, but Christians in particular, will have a renewed appreciation for the price paid by the Everlasting to redeem our pityful, wretched souls. Its my prayer that it will inspire Christians to perfection and the abandonment of all acceptance of Christian carnality and thoughts of salvation by 'its ok to sin because I have a Savior' philosophy, which poisons the truth and crucifies our Lord over and over again.

In short, its a very good film, but, the Book is better.

Sincerely, In Love, In Christ, Yours Truly,

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004


I saw the film also, it was very moving to see such a great performace. I agree the BIBLe is better, however this movie may bring some young folks closer to Christ.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

I agree. It was powerful and moving. I will not be able to read or preach that part of Scripture the same way again.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2004

I saw just the Passion of Jesus Christ. A film by Mel Gibson. It was to say the least very graphic in the telling of the beating and crucifixion of Jesus. However, I felt there was something missing in the story. Granted, Mel Gibson used poetic lincense but, he left out some detail that would have given a more complete picture. Such as the plot and the circumstances leading up the trial.

Secondly, nowwhere was Pontius Pilate mentioned by name. The actor playing the Roman governor was referred to as Abdener(spelling?) who was married to a woman by the name of Claudia.When the governor washed his hands of innocent blood, he gave the order to carry out the crucifixion to a centurion Abdener(sp?)For a movie about the Christian story it was important to get the characters straight.

What about the woman with the jar of Alabaster? The gospel writers Describe Jesus as blessing her by saying every time the story is told she will be remembered. The anointing of Jesus is cruical to the Passion. Even if, it was done as a Flash back.

My last observation was the poor treatment of the Resurrection. As people with Resurrection faith it would have been important to spend as much time with the resurrection as the beatings and crucifixion. If, the gospels were Mel Gibson's primary source what about Mary and Martha coming to the tomb early that first day of the week? After discovering he was not there they ran to tell the disciples he arose!. They were the first preachers of the Good News!

Gibson's ending was weak and it short changed the power of the story. The graphic deciption of blood and violence gave me a deeper appreciation of the sufferring of Jesus the Christ. I just wish Mel Gibson would have told the whole story in a balanced way and not rely entirely upon his Lethal Weapon background.

The Book is much better than the picture. Peace.

The flash back scenes didn't really tell the story of Jesus. The attempt at comic relief (Jesus and Mary talking about a tall table and chairs and Mary says "that will never catch on.") was ill placed and poorly timed.

Another observation that that stood out was satan being portrayed by a woman. What was Mel Gibson trying to say there? It seemed like he borrowed elements from Martin Scoresse(sp?) Last Temptation of Christ.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

I saw it as well and thought it a wonderful film. When I left the theatre I was spent. It will bring many young people to Christ. My daughter's unchurched friends saw the movie and had many questions. I was able to provide them with scriptures and urge them to attend Sunday services.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

I just saw the movie and I will go out on a limb and predict that Gibson will receive Academy Award nominations next year for best picture, best director, best editing and cinematography. When you consider the verbal dialouge by the actors was in Latin and Aramaic it was an artistic masterpiece to still communicate this basic message. I don't quite follow Antonio's criticism about Pontius Pilate. I'm obviously missing something there. QED

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

I went and saw the movie earlier today, and I must say that I was a little bit disappointed. Gibson "assummed" that the film's attendees would be those that are knowledgeable of Jesus Christ. Very few of the characters were introduced and too many sections of the "flashbacks" were left incomplete. For example, the scene where Mary Magdalene was about to get stoned. The only thing that was shown were the men dropping the stones and Mary grabbing at Jesus feet and Jesus lifting Mary up. How did I know that was Mary? I have prior knowledge; however, someone that is "unchurched" would not have had the foggiest idea of what was going on. Yes, I agree that the movie leads one to ask questions and to go into further study. However, so much more could have been accomplished with the amount of time Gibson had. I agree with Brother Antonio in that too much of the life of Jesus Christ was omitted. The movie was completely unbalanced, in that it was way too focused on the crucifixion. I am not saying that knowing and understanding the crucifixion is unimportant. However, the crucifixion is only one part of our faith in Jesus Christ. I would have appreciated more time being spent on the resurrection. I think the 1977 made for television, mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth" was a much better movie and was a much better use of film in describing the life and ministry of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. I just cannot understand why a filmmaker would have two hours to make a film, and 1 hour and 30 minutes is spent showing Jesus beat to death. I have seen a filmmaker tell a person's life story in 30 minutes of air time. Just think of what Gibson could have done if he had better utilized the two hours that he had. God bless you all!

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Brothers and Sisters,

The Mel Gibson film was not about the Life of Christ, but about the Passion of the Christ which began with his agony in the garden of Gethsemane and continued to his death on the Cross. I considered the flashbacks to be bonus extras, intended for those who know the Word and to inspire questions from those who don't. In my humble opinion, Mel Gibson portrayed the one thing Christians and non- Christian alike forget, deminish or betray -- the sufferings of the Christ. No other act in all of human history so utterly defines, distinguishes and demonstrates the Love that the Father has for us, and what He was prepared to endure for us - even YOU.

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)

In Love, In Christ,

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Brother Harris,

I'm inclined to agree with Anonyette. The "passion" of Christ is better understood in light of the ministry of Jesus, the purpose of Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus. I understand your point that the "crucifixion" is often the part that more would-be Christians overlook and downplay. However, in my view, to glorify sufferring for the sake of glorifying suffering doesn't make sufferring redemptive. Yes Jesus paid it all, and that was graphically portrayed in this movie. However, the story and ministry of Jesus deserves more than just being limited to one aspect. Without the resurrection, the "passion" is just a glorification of a bloody murder. It is Jesus the Christ's resurrection that validated and justified Jesus' story and mission. How can one really understand Jesus' sufferring if they do not know about the life of Jesus and his ministry? I completely understood that Mel Gibson's film "The Passion" was about "Christ's redemptive suffering, particularly in reference to the last days culminating in his crucifixion." In order for Jesus' sufferring to be understood, it needs to be understood within the context of Jesus' ministry. If the film was just about Christ's sufferring, then I guess the resurrection scene was totally unnecessary. If you know the story of Jesus the Christ, then the "passion" just intensifies the price Jesus paid for the sins of the world. It makes Jesus a very human, real, concrete figure. To the person that does not know the Judeo-Christian story of Jesus the Christ, the film depicted a man being horribly murdered. I guess glorifying sufferring for the sake of glorifying suffering doesn't make suffering redemptive. Sufferring becomes redemptive when sufferring is told within the context of the complete story and mission, which was dwarfed in the Mel Gibson movie.

-- Anonymous, February 29, 2004

Sister Olivia,

Its not just the would-be Christians that overlook and downplay Christ's Passion - but even those who profess to know Him. For it is by the Spirit that we know that it is God in Christ who suffered and died for us. That it was neither Jesus' ministry nor the resurrection of the Christ that redeemed our sorry souls. Not the sermon on the mount, not the parable of the sower, not the empty tomb or the appearances to the faithful, nor the ascension. It's nothing but the Blood -- it is HIS PASSION that saves us.

(Rev 5:9-12) You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

In Love, In Christ,

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

Back to Antonio's comment. Abenader was Pontius' assistant.

As to the point of not naming him: If you read the Bible, you know who he is. Why state the obvious? You didn't see Jesus OR Mary address Satan by name, did you?

Interesting Side Historical Notes: The "Pontii" were a Samnitan clan, that is to say, they came from a region southeast of Rome, integrated very early into the Roman state. The Samnitans were Roman citizens. But the Pontii were even more, they were members of the equestrian rank, that is to say, noblemen from low nobility, knights.

Pilate's predecessor, Valerius Gratus, had changed the High Priest position four times during his reign, but Pilate did not. Why is this intersting? Gratus’ last choice, Yosef Cayafa, called Caiaphas in the Bible, was the same one who condemned Jesus.

Now go back and see the movie again, and watch the looks exchanged between Caiaphas and Pilate.........

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

Parson Harper -

Thanks for the info about Pilate, his predecessor and Caiaphas. I will indedd pay closer attention to the eye contact between Pilate and the High Priest when I see this movie again. QED

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

I saw the Passion late Saturday night and it was very moving to see the violence of the scourging and the crucifixion that Jesus experienced. I read again the gospels beginning in the garden of Gethsemane so that I could get a more accurate picture of what happened. Mel Gibson took some liberties with the story. Hopefully, the financial success of this movie will inspire more movies about Jesus.

I also learned that a local church was allowed to have an altar call in a movie theater and during that time, 3 people accepted Jesus as their saviour. Now that's success!!!

From henceforth, when I think about the crucifixion I will focus on the spiritual and physical pain that Jesus experienced in saving us from eternal separation from God. It will also inspire me to turn the other cheek.


-- Anonymous, March 01, 2004

Unfortunately we in Bermuda must wait 2 more weeks before the movie arrives on our little island. I look forward to seeing it when it comes. Blessings to you all

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2004

Brother Harper,

I am seminary-trained, and yes I do read the Bible. As far as your references to "those of you who read the Bible", etc., I believe the brother (Bro Antonio) was making reference to those who don't read the Bible, or those who aren't as Biblically literate as you are. Pontius Pilate is a major part of the Apostles Creed; in the movie, Jesus was named, Mary was named. It would have helped if Pontius Pilate was named. The point is that even if Pontius Pilate was named, they called the character Abener (sic), and never once did they mention the name Pontius Pilate. Let's not assume that everyone is on the same level, Biblically, Okay? God bless you.

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2004

Sister Olivia,

Your claws are showing :)

If you see the movie again, you will see that Pontius was not called Abenader. I wasn't paying attention to the Aramaic/Latin, but I believe you will hear him addressed as Pilate (just not in the subtitles). If you see it again, and don't hear him addressed as Pilate (pronounced "pee-lot"), I will give you the price of your ticket and publicly apologize to you.

In any case, wouldn't it be wonderful if the person sitting next to you asked who was the man washing his hands of the incident, and you could answer them, and use that as a springboard for witnessing?

Wouldn't it be a shame if you didn't know?

Lastly, I NEVER assume that everyone is on the same level. Not in my day job, not in my preaching, not on this board. But if someone is, in my opinion, on the same level (as Bro. Antonio showed he was by discussing the Resurrection and the woman with the alabaster box), then I respond accordingly...

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2004

Rev. Harper:

Thank you for your March 1, 2004 entry. To be honest, I am not sure I can see the movie again; however, I would like to see the look of Caiaphas at Pontius Pilage.

The reason I cannot watch the movie again is because it hurt my heart. If Jesus suffered one lash for my salvation it was too much. If he broke his fingernail or stubbed his toe on my behalf it is too much.

I thought the movie did what it was intended to do. It was supposed to show you what the perfect sacrifice endured on our behalf. He did not have to do it. There is a song that says "Only love kept him nailed to the cross." Understand, crucifixion was so violent that it was not used against Roman citizens.

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2004

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