Thursday, January 22, 2004

It is all about blood. Blood. How many slasher movies have been made since the birth of the film industry? I do not know. I do not care. They are mindless and dangerous. But this movie ... this blood ... it is different. Very different.

I watched "The Passion of the Christ" in a special preview at Willowcreek Community Church on Tuesday. It's a little project paid for, produced, and directed by Mel Gibson. Mel was actually in the house. He got interviewed by Pastor Bill Hybles. But he got shown up by Jesus.

Bloody Jesus. Beaten Jesus. Broken Jesus. It has been two days since I watched this film and I am still processing it mentally. I did not like it. I could not take my eyes off of it. I hated every minute of it. It held me spellbound. I knew how it ended before it started. I was breathless, waiting to see what would happen next. Jesus did not just die on a cross for me. He was murdered. Brutally. Laughing, gloating, bullying centurians beat him to an unrecognizable pulp. And then they didn't even have the courtesy to carry him to his death. They made him carry himself ... and his cross. He couldn't do it alone. He had to have help. God needed help. Some guy was chose, seemingly at random, and it changed his life forever. He didn't want to go near Jesus and then he fell in love with Him.

And then there was evil. It was named Satan. He is a snake. He is a person. He is hatred incarnate. I hate him more now than I did before I saw "The Passion." "Hate" really is not an adequate word. I detest him. Even that word does not do it. There is no word. He plays a minor role in the movie. Because, you see, as Jesus pointed out, no man takes His life from Him. He lays it down willingly. Satan was the pawn of Jesus. He was just too stupid to know it.

I will go to see this movie again. And probably again. And maybe one more time. I cannot get it out of my mind. It was too vivid. Too real. I needed to see this movie because I had forgotten the truth. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. It was only a movie. The real thing had to be far worse than even this. I cannot imagine. I do not want to.