Tue. Jan 25th, 2022

Tomorrow is a date many around the world will recognize and celebrate as Ash Wednesday. It will also mark the release of the most talked about movie this year, “The Passion of the Christ.” Controversy has sprung up around Mel Gibson’s movie and people are talking about it more and more as we move closer to its release. Critics are labeling Gibson either a hero or an enemy. This movie has the attention of churches across the nation, as it is the most dramatic telling of Jesus Christ’s life ever. The attention of Jewish groups have been holding the accusation of “anti-semite” awfully close to Gibson’s name. Regardless of the opinions of this man, Mel Gibson is confident in this work and holds no regrets.”The Passion” is a telling of the last 12 hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. Gibson confirms that this film is based accurately on the accounts given in the four gospel’s of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This mov-ie, among all criticism, is a story of hope and of love. As people say, Jesus was a good teacher and a good man this movie has a purpose, and that is to portray Jesus’ ultimate act of love, which was His death and His ultimate act of power, which was His resurrection from death. Many use the word martyr for what He did, but it could be most accurately described as a “sacrifice” which is the message of this movie.

So if this movie is simply what the Christian Bible says, then it is for Christians only? Not true. This story is taken directly from the Bible, yet has its roots firmly in accurate history. Even if one refutes various areas of teaching the Bible has to offer, it is impossible to deny its accuracy of this event. It is very doubtful that there is any other movie that has gone through as great of lengths to faithfully recreate history as Gibson and Fitzgerald have for this film. Critics may say these accounts cannot be reliable, however historians admit they are more reliable than most historical data we have today. In Diane Sawyer’s interview with Gibson last Monday, he made the important comment, “The writers of the Gospels did not write in a vacuum.” In this he was saying that regardless of whether these were direct eyewitness accounts, or indirect, there were people reading these accounts who have heard and seen Jesus. Since Jerusalem was mainly an oral society, they were holding the writers accountable to the truth. This is not a “Christian” film, it is a true film.

However, the fact is that whether or not a story is true has never determined whether or not it is a good story. Different people enjoy various stories for various reasons. Be it adventure or romance, this story has both. Yes, it is violent, and yes it is controversial, but in the end when the theater patrons are in a stunned silence or brought to tears (as many preview audience’s have been) this story reaches the souls of everyone. The story is of one who dies not just for the ones He loves and seeks to free, but for everyone. Martyr’ die for their cause; Jesus died for everyone else’s.

Sean Deminski is a WCU student. Please e-mail comments to MD568811@wcupa.edu.

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