The crowds have certainly gone to see The Passion of the Christ, although I was surprised to see that only a small handful in our service on Sunday indicated that they had seen it. Perhaps it is because the movie is so violent. I had dreaded viewing it for that reason as well.
Overall, I thought the movie was very well done. I cannot say that I “enjoyed” the movie (who could?), but I was glad that I saw it. I found the experience very meaningful.
I would not suggest that anyone take young children to see it. As I indicated Sunday, one mother told me that she took her 13 year old son. Afterwards, he cried in the car. He told his mother that he was glad he got to see it but told her, “Never make me do that again.”
Was the movie anti-Semitic? Not in my view. Mel Gibson clearly indicated his view of who was responsible for the death of Jesus with his only appearance in the film. It was his hands which nailed Jesus to the cross.
The real value of the movie is that it once again gets us thinking and talking about “Who is Jesus?” and “What does his death mean?”
©2004 C. David Hess