- the Good and the Bad
We don’t believe it is possible for any Christian to view this film and not be emotionally moved, to at least regret and sorrow (and probably tears), by the manner in which the Lord Jesus was brutally and mercilessly treated by wicked and ignorant people. Mel Gibson gets an A+ for the manner in which he portrayed the way the Sanhedrin, the Roman soldiers and other unbelievers mocked, insulted, spit on, flogged, punched and similarly treated Jesus. This is one time Jesus is shown covered with blood, just like the Bible says he was, as he shed his precious, cleansing blood on the cross for the sins of mankind. Perhaps the only part Mel Gibson left out of the beating was Jesus getting his beard plucked out:I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. (Isa 50:6)It is very good that the movie shows the following Scripture at the beginning—another plus for Gibson:But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isa 53:5)As graphic as the movie was showing Jesus covered in his own blood, the real incident was even worse. Please ponder the following Scripture:Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness (Isa 52:14)Jesus’ appearance in reality, as he hung dying for our sins, was appalling, horrendous, shocking and the like. He was totally disfigured by the beatings he endured. His form, as a human, was so marred that he looked like some bloody, dirty (since he fell to the ground) monster because of his swollen, bruised and lacerated body. He was covered with blood, muddy dirt and spit. Imagine how his face must have appeared to have his beard plucked out, to be crowned with thorns and repeatedly struck on the head with a staff:Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. (Mat 27:27-31)Add to this that the Lord was punched in the face multiple times by the wicked. His face was unrecognizable as he hung on the cross for us all. Besides Isa. 52:14, also consider this: All his bones were out of joint (Psa 22:14), his strength dried up and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth (Psa 22:15).
The portrayal of the scourging by the Roman soldiers was perhaps the most stirring aspect of the movie. Jesus’ blood was spattered over the floor, as well as on those who beat him. While Jesus hung from the cross, after his death, a soldier takes a spear and rams it into his side, which produced a flow of blood and water, just like the Biblical account:Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. (John 19:34)One of the great Satanic deceptions in our day is to show Jesus hanging from the cross with just a little blood here and there on his body, which is not swollen and lacerated. This film should help remedy forever this lie for many.
There were other accurate points in the movie as well. It showed the sky darkened and the earthquake. It wasn’t readily apparent if the curtain in the temple was torn in two during the earthquake, especially from top to bottom, as one might think an angel might have ripped it.It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. (Luke 23:44, 45)The empty tomb and the resurrected Jesus with the spike hole scar in his hand was also portrayed. This is all accurate and critically important, especially the resurrection. Jesus is alive now and this movie clearly shows this truth.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. (Mat 27:51)
Another strong point was the various times a flashback occurred in the ministry of Jesus as he taught others and ate at the last supper. Jesus is shown declaring that he is the way, truth and life and no man will come to the Father without him:Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)John 14:6 is factual, but contradictory to the Roman Catholic apparition of Mary at Fatima, which has her saying she is the way to God.
The primary problem with the Mel Gibson movie was the disturbing and completely unscriptural exaltation of Mary. This however, should be expected, since Mel Gibson is a Roman Catholic who, as it has been reported, personally thinks all non-Roman Catholics will not have salvation. To the Catholic, the only Mary they are aware of is the sinless, mother of the church who is their life, sweetness and hope, the queen of heaven and much more. The official position of Vatican Council II is that Mary shared in the sufferings of Christ at the cross for our redemption. (It is not certain if Gibson was trying to show Mary sharing in the redemption or not, but it seems implied.)
The Problem Spots
So how did Gibson unscripturally exalt the Mary of the movie? Repeatedly, the Lord’s disciples are shown calling her Mother. Believe it or not, after Peter denied Jesus three times, he is shown in the film to go to Mary. It wasn’t clear, but certainly one could get the idea that he wanted her to intercede for him because of his sins. At a different time, a female disciple went to Mary for comfort over viewing Jesus’ sufferings. Mary also wiped the blood from the scourging floor after the savage beating, and kisses his bloody feet at the cross. All of this is unscriptural.
Jesus is also shown as a young carpenter with Mother Mary coaching him along and he playfully splashes Mary with some water and laughs. At a different point, Mary has a flash back of picking up young Jesus fallen to the ground after she views him fall with the cross.
Another potentially misleading part of the film was the way Jesus quoted a passage from John 6 which is often misunderstood by Catholics to refer to the transubstantiated communion wafer. The viewing Catholics would, more likely than not, think this refers to receiving communion (the holy Eucharist) at Mass.
The Passion of the Christ also clearly went beyond Scripture by showing the event known among Catholics as Veronica’s veil. This is allegedly where a woman named Veronica offered her veil to bloody Jesus to wipe himself. There is not a hint of this in the Bible.
There was also a demonic, female-looking creature in the Garden trying to discourage Jesus from going to the cross, telling him that one man could never take on the sins of the whole world (or something to that effect). Later the same demonic creature with a bald headed, deformed baby walks along viewing Jesus’ suffering.
It would have been better to use actual bible verses continually rather than adding imagined dialogues and events. The Biblical record is final authority in all church issues for Christians (2 Tim. 3:16,17) and one can never go wrong with believing and acting upon only its holy message.
The outstanding, unprecedented courage of Jesus was shown in the beginning of the film when he was arrested. Jesus had just prayed for that “cup” (of suffering) to be removed from him, but it wasn’t the Father’s will. There was no other chance for mankind to be spared from damnation in eternal fire to suffer with the devil forever. Jesus had to get beaten and die on the cross, and he courageously surrendered to his arresters:Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” (Luke 18:31-33)What a Savior Jesus is! No other God in any world religion would subject himself to such treatment to save us. Jesus is worthy of our love and commitment.
So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) (John 18:3-5)
Before we saw the film, it was reported from another person that his Protestant, Bible-believing pastor had already seen it and stated that there was nothing unscriptural with it. This is clearly not the case as Mary had such an outstanding role, in contrast to the written word of God. But again, Mel Gibson did an outstanding job showing the inhumane mistreatment Jesus was given. The way Jesus was beaten could possibly bring some to repentance for salvation’s sake. After the movie, a sense of quietness, sadness and sorrow was over all the viewers. The scenes in this movie will stick with the viewers for a long time.
Other Related Links:
click the book
249 pages contrasting the
Mary of Catholicism with
the Mary of the Holy Bible.
Is Mary The Mother Of The Church?
The Great Price (how did Jesus really appear as he hung from the cross?)
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