I sat down yesterday to read an article from a magazine called Columbia. (It's a monthly publication of the Knights of Columbus. It comes to where I currently work and is addressed to a person who doesn't exist, so I read it from time to time.) Well, this article was regarding the upcoming release of Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of Christ". It was quite interesting, but the grammatical content of the article isn't what moved me.
Contained within the article was an image taken from the film that affected me greatly. I know the film is rated R for it's bloody, brutal scenes surrounding the crucifixion, and I understand why the film depicts this so vividly. Growing up in the church and going to see "passion plays" at various churches, I have seen depictions of Christ being whipped and the crown being pushed into His brow and the nails being driven through His guiltless hands. Although these depictions are always very powerful, they are always quite clean and void of what I think must have been quite a devastating process to live through for any amount of time. I have never honestly been able to picture the devastation of what the process would leave a human body in.
And then, I saw this picture. (Warning!!! Very graphic)
Immediately, I was brought to a place of overwhelming guilt and distress. I caused that! Christ went through all of that for me! And I still choose to live my life without much thought of at what price my salvation was rendered unto me.
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."
"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:3-12
I am ashamed of the many times I have failed to live a life that pleases God and the fact that I forget what my Freedom cost the Son of God. God help me to remember what was endured for my sake, and because of me.
I think this movie will affect people greatly. Although it may be too graphic for viewers to watch in its entirety (I can see why you might want to close your eyes or turn your head at some points), I think it is going to forever change some people. Will it bring people to Christ? I definitely think that is a possibility (plus God is able through any means). Will it draw Christians into a closer walk with God? I think it will, and I think it already has. If it hasn't already done so, consider me the first in a long line of humbled Children of God.