Graphic Grace: Quick Notes on “The Passion of the Christ”
Just got back from taking our students to see the Mel Gibson movie. A couple of thoughts…
Graphic violence? Yes. Intense? Definitely. Distracting? Nope. No matter what you’ve read in the media, the film does not go as far graphically as it could have. I guess seeing it in pictures is more graphic than reading about it in the Bible, but the Bible’s words are much more brutal and graphic – especially when you factor some of the prophetic passages.
More striking to me than the graphic violence was the “graphic” grace! Especially in the scene with Malchus in Gethsemane, Mary Magadlene’s “flashback,” and the thief on the cross. Also, Simon of Cyrene’s scenes are pictures of Jesus’ grace and mercy.
Most impactful of all? To me, the sheer willingness and determination of Jesus to complete the task of redemption!
Oh, and I was pleasantly – and powerfully surprised with the resurrection at the end, since I had not heard that the film went beyond the crucifixion.
A couple of things…the “subtle” inclusion of icons (like the Shroud of Turin, for instance), and that weird “demon child/old man” that the Satan character (masterfully portrayed by a woman, BTW…OK, OK, nothing inferred or implied by that!) carried toward the end of the crucifixion scene…what was up with that?
All in all, a powerful presentation, from my vantage point. Your mileage may vary…