The Passion

As Easter approaches I hear frequent references to the Passion of the Christ, a film directed by Mel Gibson. Often phrases like "too gory", "awkward with the sub-titles", "too many suggested Catholic traditions".

But I found camera angles and scene composition to have been handled masterfully.

One scene stands out in my memory. Jesus has been flogged dreadfully, and He is returned to Pilate's Porch. The procurator speaks in Latin, but then as Jesus is led in, the look on the man's face speaks volumes without words. 'You almost killed this poor wretch; I have seldom seen so much abuse; I did not intend all of this; the man truly is without fault; his countenance does not match the situation; where is the rage; he said he was a king; do I have to go on further with this'.

As I speak to people about  the film, I must commend its presentation of the voluntariness of Jesus' arrest. He knew what was coming. He knew what was in the plan of God. He got through the horrid amazement of Gethsemane. And yes, the details of a crucifixion were as atrocious as portrayed.

But perhaps the film could have gone further to confirm how much He was in charge of His own arrest. Consider John 18. Consider His courage.
4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
 5They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
 6As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
 7Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
 8Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

There is a picture by the artist Tissot which shows the moment with startling effect.



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