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The power of The Passion

I've only gotten that feeling a handful of times. You know that feeling when you have been hit so hard by the message within a film that you can say nothing coherent for a while after it's over.

Yeah, you guessed it; this is my Passion of the Christ column. I wanted to see the movie first and have time to process it before attempting to relay its impact.

And boy did it have an impact.

There have only been a select few movies that have stunned me in a remotely similar way. None of them have had near the importance or power of this movie.

I remember seeing Memento for the first time. Just trying to figure out what happened when and who was who kept me thinking about that movie for days and weeks after I saw it.

I also remember the end of Road to Perdition. I'm a big mafia movie fan, so I could see the end coming a mile away. But there was something about the way it was written that kept me silent for a good while after I walked out of the theatre.

And I remember my father taking me to see Empire of the Sun when I was probably too young to see it. I was horrified at what the main character had to live through. I know it kept me awake for several nights on end.

But none of those, nor anything else on film for that matter, have near the power of The Passion.

I know everyone thinks I'm probably biased in its favor being a Christian and someone who is employed to lead the youth group of a church. Maybe that is true, but even excluding that, there is no denying the significance of this movie.

I long ago dismissed the claims of anti-Semitism in the film, knowing that the sins of every human made us all responsible for the death of Jesus. But if you argue that it was the Jews or the Romans or even Judas that was responsible for Jesus being crucified, you would be wrong.

Thanks to Randall Whitaker at Powell Baptist and all of the other pastors out there who have been telling their congregations the truth. God was responsible for the crucifixion. He simply put his perfect plan into motion through instruments like the Jews, the Romans, Judas and others.

If you pay attention to the text of the movie, that point will be very clearly spelled out. Jesus even says that he will die as a sacrifice, and that God was the one that planned it.

And as far as the excessive violence is concerned, I wouldn't advise letting your young children see it. It is bloody and brutal.

What you see on screen, though, is as near as it gets to what Jesus really went through because he loves you, and he wanted to pay the price of death so that you could live with God forever.

Whether you are a believer or not, go see this movie; it will change your life for the better.

Web posted on Thursday, March 11, 2004

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