The Passion of the Christ

Mel Gibson much-debated film, The Passion of the Christ, has just been released throughout the Province and is receiving both rave and grave reports. Jews in this politically correct era feel threatened by it while some Christians are saying that it is “the greatest evangelising opportunity for 2000 years.”

All prospective viewers should know that Gibson’s movie is not based solely on the Bible but incorporates into the script the idle speculation of a book written in the 1800s called “The Dolorous Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But there is something else that bothers me about the movie, namely its sole focus on the physical pain that the Lord Jesus Christ suffered. It is interesting to note that the Bible has very little to say about Christ’s physical suffering, bar several references to Him being scourged, beaten and nailed to a cross. But that is it. No gruesome blood curdling language, indeed no focus at all on the physical pain He endured, which was great.

The focus of the Bible is the pain that Jesus Christ suffered in His heart. You may remember that after hanging on the cross for several hours He cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?” That was without doubt the moment of His deepest pain. There for a little while on a cruel Roman cross He was carrying the sins of many people, and as He bore their sins He endured the Father’s holy wrath. This was the reason for His death. Not some accident, not even the rage of Jews alone, but the outworking of a perfect plan. A plan entered into between the Father and the Son before time began. A plan where Jesus Christ was the willing substitute, bearing the punishment that was due to others.

Although I have much against Mr. Gibson’s movie and disagree completely with his theology, I am thankful for the opportunity to tell others why Christ really died – to take away God’s holy wrath.

Whether you go and see the movie is up to you. My advice is don’t. It is always better to read the book, God’s book and find out what really happened and why. But more than that Christ’s death on the cross made the only way for sinners to have God’s holy wrath removed from them. The Bible tells us that for all who come to see their sin and cry to God for mercy on the merit of Christ’s work, He will forgive, turn away His wrath and take them into His family.

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