Movies: The Passion

{New Site}

http://www.thepassionofthechrist.com/skip.html

What is this Easter Holiday All About?

Bunny Rabbit? Colorful eggs? Spring-time celebration! Growing-up, I remember going to church on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as part of the Easter celebration. I actually thought it was a good time to remember what Jesus did for me. I would then look forward to watch the "Ten Commandments" or "Sound of Music" (my siblings thought I was cheesy watching this sing-a-long movie all them time). All this were seeds of faith growing inside of me to get where I am (personal relationship). I look back and want to continue the festivities-making sure "Jesus is the reason for the season" (like Christmas) and that we celebrate it every season all year round! I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend and may you reflect what He did for you on that cross!
*wrote this during a winter strom on Tuesday, April 3rd of 2007

  • Easter Online, from kidsturncentral
  • Easter Stories and Articles from Joyful Heart Renewal Ministries
  • History of Easter, from twilightbridge.com
  • Is Easter Mentioned in the Bible, from Christiananswers.net
  • Passion: Movie Reflection, from GoodnewsUMM
  • Resurrection, from Christian Answers
  • Easter Bunny
  • Easter Egggs, from twilightbridge (
  • {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{NEW SITE}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    2005 Showing!

    UMM: Student Center-Edson Auditorium
    Morris, Minnesota!
    Thursday, March 24th @8pm
    followed by talk from Pastor Mike Saeger (Morris Evangelical Free Church
    w/group discussion
    Come one...come all! (invite your friends!)
    Sponsored by area churches, campus ministries, etc..

    UPDATE 3/25/05 Passion Movie Outreach Report:
    We had over 100 folks from the campus and community come, which majority have watched this movie after the speaker (given by Pastor Mike Saeger of Morris Evangelical Free Church) that shared (eg. comparing Jesus' sacrifice to our Traffic Court ticket being paid by our "Heavenly" father) did a tally of the audience (the ones that stayed for the post-discussion/message). However, there were reported 1:1/group conversations that followed that haven't been reported. Please pray for the "seed of the Gospel" (tracts from the "Passion" were distributed as people left) that were planted and for the Morris Area Churches (4 pastors of different churches came in support and to talk to college students) to continue "to work together" (John 17) in unity to "reach the lost" in this campus community. We appreciate your co-labor radio ministry work you do in this west central area!

    As I'm creating this special website dedicating to "The Passion", I have yet to see it (Tuesday, March 2nd of 2004)! Some of the reviews down below have been added to this website before it opened last Wednesday. I decided to go more thorough after hearing so much about this movie.

    Past Jesus Films:

    I grew-up watching all sorts of films about the life on Jesus. As a little kid, it really got my attention and intrigue my curiosity on my Catholic faith. Especially during Easter season, I was fond of watching anything about Jesus.

    Secular

  • Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Jesus of Montreal
  • Christian Ministries Making

  • Jesus Film

  • -Music Video tributes:
    Remember Me

    "The powerful song "Remember Me" serves as a background for this video about our Savior and what he did for us. The footage is from the movie "Jesus" and the music is by Mark Schultz. I put this video together about 2 years ago and recently decided to update it. Free DVD upon request. Just send me your name and address!"
  • Judas Project
  • Miscellanous

  • Celluloid Jesus, The Christ Film Webpages from NT Gateway
  • Movies About Jesus, from bigthicketdirectory
  • Theatre Performances

    I went to see "The Life Giver: A Passion Play" at Redeeming Love Church in Maplewood-St. Paul, Minnnesota this day (Saturday, April 10th of 2004) before Easter Sunday. I actually had some watery eyes (like the movie) during several scenes of the play that was well performed by the 100+ cast. Awesome job as the play touched me any many others (over 30+ came forward to accept Christ as their "savior" during the 2pm matinee show). A touching moment during the play was out in the audience when a little girl behind me kept repeating, "Is it over", "Is it over"...during the flogging and crufixion scene.

    -Nation
    how beauitful

    "this is a skit that me and some of the other kids in my youth group dose to the song how beauitful. it's much more moving in person but i hope that u can get the idea here."

  • Black Hills Passion Play, in Spearfish, South Dakotah

  • Did you know that everytime during the Crucifixion scene-this theatre performance went on, there was an actual lightning outside?

    This is somewhat similar to the lightning that that struck the actor that played Jesus in "The Passion Movie" during the Crucifixion scene....

    -State

  • The Great Passion Play, in Arkansas
  • Passion Drama, in Alexandria, MN

  • Passion Play 2004
    7:30p.m. Thurs. & Fri., 3p.m. Sat. at North Heights Lutheran Church, Hwy 96 & Hwy 10 in Arden Hills. A 16-year tradition, the Passion Play at North Heights powerfully displays the life, death & resurrection of Jesus! Over 700 participants, dozens of live animals, rain, "lightening," inspiring music & much more. Tickets, $19 or $11. Reserved seating by mail only, after Feb. 27. For an order form, please visit
  • www.nhlc.org or call 651-639-9777. (Additional dates: April 15-18, April 22-25, April 29-30 & May 1-2)

    Do I plan to see it-yes! I haven't had the chance yet. Before viewing it myself, I wanted to search Scriptures and research some of the topics that I've heard on this movies so far...

    -Global
    CFC Youth For Christ Winnipeg Creative Dance

    "This is a creative dance showing people in harships without Jesus, his crucifixion, and much more. I hope you enjoy it!"
    *see Canada
    Good Friday Passion Play

    "The 2007 Good Friday Passion Play at the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds, England. Re-enactment of the Last Supper, Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ"

    Aramaic

  • Aramaic Bible
  • Aramaic Bible Resources, from livingtruth
  • Aramaic Language, by Wikipedia on brief facts (e.g. where it's spoken) of this language
  • Assyrian Language, learn aramaic
  • Passion Movie
  • Crucifixion


    "This video is set to Nicole Nordeman?s song ?Why? and depicts the crucifixion of Christ. This is a pretty moving clip."

    Did you know that the crucifixion scene was filmed in Italy, while the rest of the scenes were filmed in a built set? Also, did you know that the Bible's Old Testament had some verses on the detail "gory" description of Jesus' crucifixion? It was written many years (1,000?) before Jesus came to earth! (for more on prophecies in the Bible-click) Read some of the following verses in let the Holy Spirit speak to you and decide yourself=>

    Bible Verses:
    -Isaiah 52:13-15 "disfigured-unhuman look"
    Isaiah 53 "oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word..."
    Psalm 22 "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me..."

  • Crucifixion,from allabout jesus christ

  • "Crucifixion sometimes began with a scourging or flogging of the victim’s back. The Romans used a whip called a flagrum, which consisted of small pieces of bone and metal attached to a number of leather strands. The number of blows given to Jesus is not recorded; however, the number of blows in Jewish law was 39 (one less than the 40 called for in the Torah, to prevent a counting error). During the scourging, the skin was ripped from the back, exposing a bloody mass of tissue and bone. Extreme blood loss occurred, often causing death, or at least unconsciousness. In addition to the flogging, Jesus faced severe beating and torment by the Roman soldiers, including the plucking of His beard and the piercing of His scalp with a crown of thorns. "
    Nothing But The Blood of Jesus

    "A message on the cleansing blood of Jesus set to several images of the crucifixion and the things that Jesus died for."
  • Facts about the Crucifixion, from Konnections
  • Medical Aspects of the Crucifixion, from a M.D. with Joshua.net
  • On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ

    Music

  • "Crucify"... like rose...
  • "On My Cross", my hands...(sang at "The Life Giver" play)
  • *{Dedication to Christian Martyrs-who have been persecuted for their faith}

    Who Killed Jesus?

    Us, because of our sins!

  • Who Killed Jesus?, from beliefnet
  • Links Realting to "The Passion"

  • Movies.com, photos and other links
  • This area site is dedicated to the up-coming (has passed), anticpated, gospel movie-"The Passion". I've received so many forwards from friends and kept the e-mail, so I decided to paste it on here:

    LOCAL

    New Site

    COMING TO MORRIS

    Friday, March 12th
    *note change of date (earlier it was supposed to be the 26th)

    STATE

    New Site

    February 1-24 Sunday-Tuesday

    Mel Gibson's "The Passion;" Pre-Purchase Vouchers

    Wednesday, February 25 is the opening day for "The Passion," Mel Gibson's new movie taken directly from the biblical account of Christ's crucifixion. Icon productions has set up a toll-free ticket hotline for ordering advance tickets in the form of vouchers, redeemable at any theatre nation-wide. 1-800-353-6102. Please pray that God would be glorified by this movie & that all viewers will be touched by Him in a wonderful, lasting way! www.passion-movie.com.

    NATION

    Miscellaneous

  • Wikipedia

  • "Production
    Traditionalist Catholic priest Stephen Somerville was on set during the entire filming.[citation needed] Jim Caviezel, the American actor playing Jesus, is, like Mel Gibson, a devout Catholic.[citation needed]
    Caviezel suffered numerous injuries and ailments during the production.[2]. He separated his shoulder while filming a scene in which Jesus falls and the cross lands on his back. The complex full-body makeup required the actor to be awake at 2 a.m. to undergo several hours of application of the appliances that would make it look like he had been viciously flayed.
    Caviezel also was struck by lightning during the shooting; upon rising from the hit without major damage, he reportedly said, "I guess He didn't like that take." Key production assistant Jan Michelini was allegedly struck by lightning twice and given the name Jan "Lightning Boy" Michelini in the film's closing credits. [3] and [4]."

    Music

  • Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ is a musical album released in 1989 by Peter Gabriel., from Wikipedia
  • Passion Songs

  • The Passion of The Christ: Songs (Lost Keyword/Wind-Up) Released August 2004 reviewed by Andree Farias (Christianity Today)
    "The album opens strongly with "I See Love," a picture-perfect pop-rock anthem manned by Steven Curtis Chapman, Third Day's Mac Powell, and MercyMe's Bart Millard; the tune examines the different characters that people see in Jesus: a teacher, a healer, a dreamer, a "fool dying for his dream," according to the lyrics. "But I see Love, light of heaven breaking through." This early high is quickly dulled by the unimpressive "Relearn Love," the much-publicized solo debut of former Creed frontman Scott Stapp. The song's theme is noble—how Christ's love helps reshape our own view of love—but the melody and structure of the song are unorthodox and even awkward. Despite its lyrical brevity, P.O.D.'s "Truly Amazing" is up next, recalling the haunting balladry from their Satellite days. Things flow well until the duet between Brad Paisley and Sara Evans kicks in, a heartfelt country lullaby recounting a dialog between a questioning Mary and her loving son Jesus, but that feels misplaced in the context of the three rock-laced tracks preceding it.
    Stronger than anything on their major label debut, Big Dismal's "Rainy Days" brims with melodic confidence and wisely sidesteps the marked Creed pretensions the band was previously indicted for. At this point, the pacing suffers one more time with Lauryn Hill's "The Passion," her first composition since 2002's anticlimactic Unplugged album; the cut itself is percussive and organic, but the undermixed vocals make Hill sound tired and noncommittal as she repeatedly sings, "If they only showed love like this before."
    Perhaps the most explicit reaction to the movie is Kirk Franklin and Yolanda Adams' "How Many Lashes," a first-person confessional in which Franklin likens Jesus' lashings to each of his sins, while Adams' vocal ad-libs punctuate the guilt even further. The powerful impact of the song quickly fades as MxPx's rough-around-the-edges "The Empire" and Charlotte Church's saccharine "Finding My Own Way" try to find their place amidst the other stylistic choices. If not for Tonic bassist Dan Lavery, who turns in a surprisingly good classic rock performance with "To Give Love" (and sounding every bit as gritty as PFR's Joel Hanson in the process), the inconsistencies would outweigh the few inspired moments.
    I guess my biggest qualm with The Passion of The Christ: Songs is how tamely it reflects the flurry of emotions that the film elicits. A number of lyrics even verge on antiseptic religious pop, like the airy "Finding My Own Way" or Big Dismal's passionless "Reason I Live," two tracks that aren't necessarily strong, faith-affirming statements. Considering that Gibson's cinematic experience requires a lot from the viewer, it's a disappointment that this collection demands so little involvement from the listener, at times sounding more like the soundtrack to one of those harmless Lifetime original movies than an aural testament to the greatest sacrifice of all. "

    Stapp: I Am a Christian by Mark Moring posted 08/09/04 (Christianity Today)
    "When you first saw The Passion of the Christ, how did it affect you?
    Stapp: At first, I was saddened and disheartened. I couldn't believe this is what Christ had to go through. I knew the story, but I was seeing it through different eyes. It was not just a Bible story that I had heard since I was four years old. It made sense to my life as a man, and as a father and as a friend and as a son. I was shocked that someone loved me so much that they would do this for me. I also got angry at various times during the film.
    Angry at what?
    Stapp: At how Christ was being treated. But then that would turn into a humility about understanding the sacrifice. I had a whole gamut of emotions—love, peace, anger, humility, sadness. I left the film exhausted; I was drained. But also, I was happy, because it helped me get a visual picture of what I finally understood.
    Did you meet Mel Gibson?
    Stapp: Yes. He was excited that I was interested in the songs project. He said, "I don't know much about music, but my kids love your band." I had a little demo of "Relearn Love" and I played it for him, and he said, "Listen, man, I'll leave that stuff up to you." He was like, "This is your experience, and I want you to express it however you want."
    So you were writing "Relearn Love" even before you saw The Passion.
    Stapp: Yes, and The Passion came along and gave me focus. It was kind of God's final confirmation that I was moving in the right direction.
    Can you give me a specific example of how that "relearned love" is manifesting itself in your life?
    Stapp: It's simple for me: It's giving without expecting anything in return. Prior to this, the way that I loved people around me, I always expected something—even if that was just expecting them to treat me like I treated them. But now I understand that real love is just giving without expecting anything. That's what love is to me, and that's what I feel that Christ showed us."

    Relearn Love, from stlyrics.com
    "On a dark and lonely highway I need the Son to raise my head I come before you, I am naked... The man I am now must be shed I've weathered storms and I am broken My beaten heart is in your hands What I really need is shelter And a chance to relearn love
    (chorus)
    Teach me all over, all over To relearn love Show me again… So I can relearn love
    The comfort of your arms around me Your tender hands caress my head I lay beside you I'm not worthy This jaded man's not who I am I touched the flame and I've been burned All I need's a second chance Give me eyes of a child And teach this man to relearn love
    Teach me all over, all over To relearn love Show me again…
    To relearn love Teach me all over, all over To relearn love Show me again...
    So I can relearn love
    I was selfish, but you still love me You gave the greatest gift of all And it set me free
    When time means nothing And your world is standing still Listen world he's calling When you feel me drop and kneel
    Can you feel it? Just remember Oh remember …to relearn love
    (to relearn love) (show me again) (to relearn love)
    Relearn my love (teach me all over, all over) Show me, show me to relearn my love (to relearn my love, show me again) Teach me now, now, teach me all over (relearn my love) To relearn, relearn my love So I can relearn love"

    Creed Feed, in audio-version
    ...more on Creed, alternative rock

    -Videos

  • "In Christ Alone Worship Video with Lyrics", from youtube.com
  • Reviews

    3. FOOD FOR THOUGHT - COMING ASH WEDNESDAY
    Subject: Fw: Review for the movie "The Passion for Christ"

    There is a movie coming out during the Lent and Easter season produced and directed by Mel Gibson, titled "The Passion". You may have heard about it on the news, as it has received a lot of attention already - even before it's been viewed. Some have however - a select audience by Mel Gibson.

    Below is a review by Chonda Pierce - many remember her from the Women of Faith Conferences. You will find this interesting, and I hope you see the film this coming Easter season.

    Mark

    AN EVANGELICAL REACTS TO "THE PASSION OF CHRIST" [ Patrick Madrid ]4
    Comment(s)

    Chonda Pierce talks about the impact this movie had on a room full of people who came to preview it
    12/11/2003
    December 9 -- Quick Road Report...

    I plan to write an extensive Road Kill Report about this later...right now my heart is still pounding and I'm ready to stand on the street corner and sell tickets if I have to -- so for now, a quick note will suffice.

    I don't think I have words to convey to you the overwhelming observations I had last night at "the movie." It is interesting to fill up a room with "somebody's" -- they're hugging folks, shaking hands, talking shop -- but barely looking each other in the eye, because everyone is too busy looking over your shoulder to see "who else" might be in the midst! And I'm the worse -- I'm such a geeky fan! It's obnoxious...

    I don't want to exploit anyone's privacy -- but the room was filled with an array of the biggest names in entertainment from the Nashville community. Producers, songwriters, artist -- most from the Country music world. But a few from Christian music as well. TV, Radio, Print media... If you were looking for a record deal, an autograph or a photo-op...it was the place to be. But in a room of less than 250 people -- you couldn't find a camera or an ink pen.

    The whole thing was so secretive that we had to sign a form that we wouldn't take pictures, or call the National Guard... someone did ask if we can tell about the experience and they said, "Yes, we need to get the word out!" So, of course -- I'm on a mission!!

    A country entertainer named, Ricky Scaggs made some opening comments and then began the night in prayer. The lights went out and the movie started. I have to tell you that in a room full of people that sometimes sing about it, read about it, write about it -- you would think that they had just understood it for the first time because less then ten minutes into the movie -- you could hear literal sobs across the room. As the story unfolded and the brutality of what we were watching set in -- people were moaning -- I will never forget it.

    I had invited my Pastor and my brother. Both men that have dedicated their lives to "Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel.." and several times I saw them wipe tears away, stir in their chairs at the impact that a piece of magnetic tape rolling through a projector had on them. It was incredible....

    Me? I had a good cry for sure. I had heard bits and pieces about it -- so I came prepared with two packs of tissue. I used both of them. My husband and I sat throughout this thing mesmerized by all that was taking place on the screen and off.

    When the movie was over -- no one moved. It was as if the room could not take a breath. There were no words -- silence. A few minutes later a man stepped up to the microphone as they slowly turn the lights on and quietly asked, "Do you have any questions?" Still silence....he broke the ice by saying, "Well, maybe Mel could answer your questions." And in walked Mel Gibson -- less than 10 feet away. He was incredibly humble yet excited as he took the microphone and sat on the edge of the stage.

    The room erupted with applause, shouts of gratitude. I looked at my Pastor and said, "I wonder if he has a clue of what he has just done. No wonder he is coming up against persecution, brick walls, slammed doors -- He has just unleashed hell on himself." Pastor Allen said, "Our God is greater." I knew that! I guess a reminder is good!!

    It's a brutal movie. It will be rated R and half the Christian community will stew over it! Mel Gibson's comment to the brutality, "If you read the Bible -- the whole thing is pretty much rated R!" He's right. And to truly express artistically what Christ went through? You have to be brutal.

    When asked what his goal is for the movie, what he hopes people will glean from it he said, "I hope they watch the movie and want to read the book!" ... "I hope they are changed." When asked what he's doing to combat some of the persecution in getting this movie distributed he said, "You know, I just pray for my enemies. I don't pray for curses on their heads -- I pray the good angels will go beat up the bad angels that are making them say and do evil deeds." Mel's a better person than I am. After watching what Christ went through for me -- I was ready to knock someone in the head!I'm thinking Lethal Weapon Part 5!

    He spent over 35 million dollars of his own money, risked the doors of his world being slammed in his face and when asked "why?" he simply said, "It was time. I just had to do it. It was just time to tell this story."

    I for one, will love stronger... Work harder... Live bolder -- embracing the sacrifice made for my sins...I am changed forever. We'll talk more about it later -- but make plans now and DO NOT miss this movie..... The Passion of the Christ, released Feb. 25th.

    Chonda
    (Chonda.org)

    From : Ron
    Sent : Sunday, October 12, 2003 9:34 PM
    To :
    Subject: Passion, the movie

    How ironic that when a movie producer takes artistic license with historical events, he is lionized as artistic, creative andbrilliant, but when another takes special care to be true to the real-life story, he is vilified.

    Actor-producer Mel Gibson is discovering these truths the hard way as he i having difficulty finding a United States studio or distributor for his pcoming film, "The Passion," which depicts the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ. Gibson co-wrote the script and financed, directed and produced the movie. For the script, he and his co-author relied on the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the diaries of St.Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) and Mary of Agreda's "The City ofGod."

    Gibson doesn't want this to be like other sterilized religious epics. "I'm trying to access the story on a very personal level and trying to be very real about it." So committed to realistically portraying what many would consider the most important half-day in the history of the universe, Gibson even shot the film in the Aramaic language of the period.

    In response to objections that viewers will not be able to understand that language, Gibson said, "Hopefully, I'll be able to transcend the language barriers with my visual storytelling; if I fail, I fail, but at least it'll be a monumental failure."To further insure the accuracy of the work, Gibson has enlisted the counsel of pastors and theologians, and has received rave reviews. Don Hodel, president of Focus on the Family, said, "I was very impressed. The movie is historically and theologically accurate." Ted Haggard, pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., and resident of the National Evangelical Association, glowed: "It conveys, more accurately than any other film, who Jesus was." During the filming, Gibson, a devout Catholic, attended Mass every morning because "we had to be squeaky clean just working on this." From Gibson's perspective, this movie is not about Mel Gibson. It's bigger than he is. "I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor," he said. "But I really feel my career was leading me to make this. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."

    Even before the release of the movie, scheduled for March 2004, Gibson is getting his wish. "Everyone who worked on this movie was changed. There were agnostics and Muslims on set converting to Christianity...[and] people being healed of diseases." Gibson wants people to understand through themovie, if they don't already, the incalculable influence Christ has had on the world. And he grasps that Christ is controversial precisely because of WHO HE IS - GOD incarnate. "And that's the point of my film really, to show all that turmoil around him politically and with religious leaders and the people,all because He is Who He is." Gibson is beginning to experience first hand just how controversial Christ is. Critics have not only speciously challenged the movie's authenticity, but have charged that it is disparaging to Jews, which Gibson vehemently denies. "This is not a Christian vs.Jewish thing. '[Jesus] came into the world, and it knew him not.' Looking at Christ's crucifixion, I look first at my own culpability in that." Jesuit Father William J. Fulco, who translated the script into Aramaic and Latin, said he saw no hint of anti-Semitism in the movie. Fulco added, "I would be aghast at any suggestion that Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic." Nevertheless,certain groups and some in the mainstream press have been very critical ofGibson's "Passion." The New York Post's Andrea Peyser chided

    him: "There is still time, Mel, to tell the truth." Boston Glove columnist James Carrol denounced Gibson's literal reading of the biblical accounts. "Even a faithful repetition of the Gospel stories of the death of Jesus can do damage exactly because those sacred texts themselves carry the virus of Jew hatred," wrote Carroll. A group of Jewish and Christian academics has issued an 18-page report slamming all aspects of the film, including its undue emphasis on Christ's passion rather than "a broader vision." The report disapproves of the movie's treatment of Christ's passion as historical fact.

    The moral is that if you want the popular culture to laud your work on Christ, make sure it either depicts Him as a homosexual or as an everyday sinner with no particular redeeming value (literally) In our anti-Christian culture, the blasphemous "The Last Temptation of Christ" is celebrated, and "The Passion" is condemned. But if this movie continues to affect people the way it is now, no amount of cultural opposition will suppress its force and its positive impact on lives everywhere. Mel Gibson is a model of faith and courage. Please copy this and send it on to all your friends to let them know about this film so that we'll all go see it when it comes out.

    Dott G. Collins
    Eastern Kentucky University

    Subject: Paul Harvey Comments on the Passion by Mel Gibson

    The majority of the media are complaining about this movie. Now Paul Harvey tells "The rest of the story" and David Limbaugh praises Gibson. Most people would wait and see a movie before giving the reviews that have been issued by the reporters trying to tell all of us what to believe.

    Paul Harvey's words:

    I really did not know what to expect. I was thrilled to have been invited to a private viewing of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion," but I had also read all the cautious articles and spin. I grew up in a Jewish town and owe much of my own faith journey to the influence. I have a life long, deeply held aversion to anything that might even indirectly encourage any form of anti-Semitic thought, language or actions.

    I arrived at the private viewing for "The Passion", held in WashingtonDC and greeted some familiar faces. The environment was typically Washingtonian, with people greeting you with a smile but seeming to look beyond you, having an agenda beyond the words. The film was very briefly introduced, without fanfare, and then the room darkened. From the gripping opening scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the very human and tender portrayal of the earthly ministry of Jesus, through the betrayal, the arrest, the scourging, the way of the cross, the encounter with the thieves, the surrender on the Cross, until the final scene in the empty tomb, this was not simply a movie; it was an encounter, unlike anything I have ever experienced.

    In addition to being a masterpiece of film-making and an artistic triumph, "The Passion" evoked more deep reflection, sorrow and emotional reaction within me than anything since my wedding, my ordination or the birth of my children. Frankly, I will never be the same. When the film concluded, this "invitation only" gathering of "movers and shakers" in Washington, DC were shaking indeed, but this time from sobbing. I am not sure there was a dry eye in the place. The crowd that had been glad-handing before the film was now eerily silent. No one could speak because words were woefully inadequate. We had experienced a kind of art that is a rarity in life, the kind that makes heaven touch earth.

    One scene in the film has now been forever etched in my mind. A brutalized, wounded Jesus was soon to fall again under the weight of the cross. His mother had made her way along the Via Della Rosa. As she ran to him, she flashed back to a memory of Jesus as a child, falling in the dirt road outside of their home. Just as she reached to protect him from the fall, she was now reaching to touch his wounded adult face. Jesus looked at her with intensely probing and passionately loving eyes (and at all of us through the screen) and said "Behold I make all things new." These are words taken from the last Book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelations. Suddenly, the purpose of the pain was so clear and the wounds, that earlier in the film had been so difficult to see in His face, His back, indeed all over His body, became intensely beautiful. They had been borne voluntarily for love.

    At the end of the film, after we had all had a chance to recover, a question and answer period ensued. The unanimous praise for the film, from a rather diverse crowd, was as astounding as the compliments were effusive. The questions included the one question that seems to follow this film, even though it has not yet even been released. "Why is this film considered by some to be "anti-Semitic?" Frankly, having now experienced (you do not "view" this film) "the Passion" it is a question that is impossible to answer. A law professor whom I admire sat in front of me. He raised his hand and responded "After watching this film, I do not understand how anyone can insinuate that it even remotely presents that the Jews killed Jesus. It doesn't." He continued "It made me realize that my sins killed Jesus" I agree. There is not a scintilla of anti-Semitism to be found anywhere in this powerful film. If there were, I would be among the first to decry it. It faithfully tells the Gospel story in a dramatically beautiful, sensitive and profoundly engaging way.

    Those who are alleging otherwise have either not seen the film or have another agenda behind their protestations. This is not a "Christian" film, in the sense that it will appeal only to those who identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. It is a deeply human, beautiful story that will deeply touch all men and women. It is a profound work of art. Yes, its producer is a Catholic Christian and thankfully has remained faithful to the Gospel text; if that is no longer acceptable behavior than we are all in trouble. History demands that we remain faithful to the story and Christians have a right to tell it. After all, we believe that it is the greatest story ever told and that its message is for all men and women. The greatest right is the right to hear the truth. We would all be well advised to remember that the Gospel narratives to which "The Passion" is so faithful were written by Jewish men who followed a Jewish Rabbi whose life and teaching have forever changed the history of the world. The problem is not the message but those who have distorted it and used it for hate rather than love. The solution is not to censor the message, but rather to promote the kind of gift of love that is Mel Gibson's filmmaking masterpiece, "The Passion."

    It should be seen by as many people as possible. I intend to do everything I can to make sure that is the case. I am passionate about "The Passion." You will be as well. Don't miss it! This is a commentary by DAVID LIMBAUGH about Mel Gibson's very controversial movie regarding Christ's crucifixion. It, too, is well worth reading.

    MEL GIBSON'S passion for "THE PASSION"

    How ironic that when a movie producer takes artistic license with historical events, he is lionized as artistic, creative and brilliant, but when another takes special care to be true to the real-life story, he is vilified. Actor-producer Mel Gibson is discovering these truths the hard way as he is having difficulty finding a United States studio or distributor for his upcoming film, "The Passion," which depicts the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus Christ.

    Gibson co-wrote the script and financed, directed and produced the movie. For the script, he and his co-author relied on the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the diaries of St. Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) and Mary of Agreda's "The City of God."

    Gibson doesn't want this to be like other sterilized religious epics. "I'm trying to access the story on a very personal level and trying to be very real about it." So committed to realistically portraying what many would consider the most important half-day in the history of the universe, Gibson even shot the film in the Aramaic language of the period. In response to objections that viewers will not be able to understand that language, Gibson said, "Hopefully, I'll be able to transcend the language barriers with my visual storytelling; if I fail, I fail, but at least it'll be a monumental failure."

    To further insure the accuracy of the work, Gibson has enlisted the counsel of pastors and theologians, and has received rave reviews. Don Hodel, president of Focus on the Family, said, "I was very impressed. The movie is historically and theologically accurate." Ted Haggard, pastor of NewLifeChurch in Colorado Springs, Colo., and president of the National Evangelical Association, glowed: "It conveys, more accurately than any other film, who Jesus was."

    During the filming, Gibson, a devout Catholic, attended Mass every morning because "we had to be squeaky clean just working on this." From Gibson's perspective, this movie is not about Mel Gibson. It's bigger than he is. "I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor," he said. "But I really feel my career was leading me to make this. The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."

    Even before the release of the movie, scheduled for March 2004, Gibson is getting his wish. "Everyone who worked on this movie was changed. There were agnostics and Muslims on set converting to Christianity...[and] people being healed of diseases." Gibson wants people to understand through the movie, if they don't already, the incalculable influence Christ has had on the world. And he grasps that Christ is controversial precisely because of WHO HE IS - GOD incarnate. "And that's the point of my film really, to show all that turmoil around him politically and with religious leaders and the people, all because He is Who He is."

    Gibson is beginning to experience first hand just how controversial Christ is. Critics have not only speciously challenged the movie's authenticity, but have charged that it is disparaging to Jews, which Gibson vehemently denies. "This is not a Christian vs. Jewish thing. '[Jesus] came into the world, and it knew him not.' Looking at Christ's crucifixion, I look first at my own culpability in that." Jesuit Father William J. Fulco, who translated the script into Aramaic and Latin, said he saw no hint of anti-Semitism in the movie. Fulco added, "I would be aghast at any suggestion that Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic." Nevertheless, certain groups and some in the mainstream press have been very critical of Gibson's "Passion."

    The New York Post's Andrea Peyser chided him: "There is still time, Mel, to tell the truth." Boston Globe columnist James Carroll denounced Gibson's literal reading of the biblical accounts. "Even a faithful repetition of the Gospel stories of the death of Jesus can do damage exactly because those sacred texts themselves carry the virus of Jew hatred," wrote Carroll. A group of Jewish and Christian academics has issued an 18-page report slamming all aspects of the film, including its undue emphasis on Christ's passion rather than "a broader vision." The report disapproves of the movie's treatment of Christ's passion as historical fact.

    The moral is that if you want the popular culture to laud your work on Christ, make sure it depicts Him as an everyday sinner with no particular redeeming value (literally). In our anti-Christian culture, the blasphemous "The Last Temptation of Christ" is celebrated and "The Passion" is condemned. But if this movie continues to affect people the way it is now, no amount of cultural opposition will suppress its force and its positive impact on lives everywhere. Mel Gibson is a model of faith and courage.

    Please copy this and send it on to all your friends to let them know about this film so that we'll all go see it when it comes out.

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  • above all - rebecca st. james, youtube.com
  • Scenes

    Israel - Garden of Gethsemane

    "See the actual ground where Jesus agonized before his crucifixion and prayed that the cup may p%#, not his will but may God's will be done."


    Other Reviews:

  • Beliefnet's Weblog about Mel Gibson's Passion, current updated articles
  • Mel Gibson's Passion, from Crosswalk.com
  • Mel in Focus on the Family
  • The Passion of Christ Special Feature from CBN
  • Miscellaneous Reviews, personal link

    Lesson to be learned?

    As Mel (My Space Site) shared in an interview with Diane Sawyer the Monday before it opened, he hopes that viewers will not just comment on the gore and graphic details on this movie. Instead, he hopes (based on my view of the interview) that people would come out and think twice about the message of the cross..forgiveness and that the rest of the story of the Good News will be shared to them.

    I pray that many will come to a new or renewing personal relationship with Jesus after seeing this movie.

    Follow-Up

  • Passion Questionaaire, answer some thought-provoking questions I made before I actually watched it!
  • Reflections from the Passion, my personal account after viewing this for the first time (3/16/04)
  • "Jesus Christ - the rest of the story.", some materials about getting to know Jesus by Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Who is Jesus?, what is His passion?
  • "Why?"-Nicole Nordemen (music video), form youtube

  • *referred by Ami (4.8.07)-thanks!

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