Years and years ago when Passion of the Christ was released, I did not want to see it. I am a christian. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe he died upon the cross for my sins. I believed it, but I did not want to see it. I hide my eyes during violent scenes in movies. I think about it for days. I avoid the whole thing. So, when I heard that the movie was intensely, above and beyond violent, I checked that off my “to do” list.
And then people kept talking about it, they wouldn’t shut up about it. And I heard a man being interviewed on the radio. He said that he did not like torturous, violent scenes. Thank you. My thoughts exactly.
He said that he had heard from friends how bloody the movie was and they could not get the scenes out of his head. Thank you. I don’t want to see it either.
And then the final blow. He said that he realized that he needed that stuck in his head. I tilt my head, confused. Ummmm…say what?
He said that he needed to think every minute of every day of what Jesus did to save him from his sins.
And so, I saw the movie.
It was everything I expected. It is not the kind of movie you watch while eating popcorn. I wanted to hide my eyes for the, well, the whole entire movie, but the man’s words kept resonating in my ears. I needed to see this. I needed these pictures stuck in my head.
And so I watched. With a sick stomach, I watched as Jesus was repeatedly whipped. I watched with tears rolling down my cheeks as the nail pierced his body. I watched as he hung in agony.
And I watched as he died.
And then I thought to myself, “OK. I made it. I got through the movie.” And I wanted to get out of there. But it kept going.
“He’s dead. That was the most disturbing movie I’ve ever seen. I get the point, he’s dead. Let’s get out of here.”
And then the screen showed something that I was not expecting, it showed the empty tomb. The empty tomb!
HE IS ALIVE! I wanted to stand up and shout! HE IS NOT DEAD! HE IS ALIVE! JESUS IS ALIVE!
All the hurt was washed away. He was not bloody. My stomach did not hurt anymore. My sins are forgiven. Jesus conquered death and he has the victory. The movie is real. It is a true story. The debt is paid. The slave is set free, the blind can see, the sick are healed, all the pains of childbirth are gone. JESUS IS ALIVE!