28 February 2004

The Passion of the Christ

Lana and David were able to see the much talked about film, “The Passion of the Christ” on the first Friday in Lent (Feb 27). The parish booked the local cinema for the 3:00 session. Tickets were sold out in two days. In fact, since the film started showing, every session has been booked out. One of the local churches, First Baptist, has purchased tickets for the 12:00 session every Saturday for the first 4 weeks and anyone can come and see it for free. There has been a phenomenal reaction to this film across the country with box office records being broken. The other amazing thing is that there are no middling reviews – all are either for or against, 5 starts or none. Those that hate the concept of an authentic Christian movie, faithful to the gospels have been viciously attacking the movie, Mel Gibson, the historicity and authenticity of the Gospels and the importance of Jesus’ Passion. Whilst with this movie, they have argued that it is too violent, anti-Semitic, too long, too dogmatic, or just too much – these same critics praised as “artistic” anti Christian films like Dogma, Last Temptations of Christ, vile artwork like Madonna in dung or the crucifix in urine. Those things are “Art” whilst “The Passion” is “Violent”, or terrible, or should be banned!
We saw the film and intend to see it again. We recommend it to any adult. Children should only go once their parents have determined whether they can handle the graphic nature of Christ’s crucifixion. Once the DVD is out, we will then be able to show that to the older children, pausing or fast-forwarding or explaining as appropriate. To any that have meditated on the passion of Our Lord using The Stations of the Cross, The Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, the last Seven Words of Jesus or read the gospel accounts will not be surprised at the story. We thought it was just as we had imagined - brought to life on the screen. It has accurately been described as more of an experience than a film. It is not a popcorn and coke film! Afterwards the whole audience sat through the credits as they absorbed what they had experienced and then slowly went home contemplating what He did for us.

The Cross after Jesus is taken down.

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