V RaptureChrist Newsletter
April 1, 2004

Review - The Passion of the Christ 

Emotional as the movie was, I was shocked by some of the things I saw... 

For example, a scene where little Jewish children pursue Judas.  There is no scriptural evidence that this happened.  A friend of mine told me that he thought Judas was suffering from a hallucination.  He later discarded that idea and said that it was an attempt to portray Jewish people as "little devils."

I do not believe either statement. It is hard to imagine what Mel Gibson was thinking when he put this scene in -- a scene that has no basis in scripture.

King Herod questioning Jesus

Herod is shown by Mel Gibson as a pervert. I think it is best to avoid adding things with no historical evidence.

Another incongruous scene is the lack of emotion displayed by the mother of Jesus during his trial and execution.  The crowd watching Jesus walking through the Via Dolorosa on his way to Calvary is also shown devoid of natural emotion.   They looked unconcerned about what was going on.  This is contrary to the Bible, which states:

Luke 23:27
And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

We must not forget that this crowd of people who believed in Yeshua/Jesus and believed he was the true Messiah, the soon coming King of Israel, had just rejoiced a few days earlier as Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we nowadays celebrate as "Palm Sunday." 

John 12:12
On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast [of Passover], when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

John 12:13
took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel."

John 12:14
Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,

John 12:15

The scene in which Mary, the mother of Jesus is mopping the blood after his flagellation is an aberration.  There is no basis in history that this type of event would take place after somebody's scourging,  and of course without Biblical foundation.  

The actor that played the part of John showed no emotion whatsoever... and he was supposed to be the one Jesus loved the most.

John 19:26
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

John 19:27
Then said he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

The part that depicts Peter denying Jesus is not accurate according to scripture.  In the movie they do not show Peter in the courtyard getting warm and denying Jesus 3 times.  Neither did you see the cock crow.

Mark 14:30
And Jesus said unto him, Truly I say unto you, That this day, [even] in this night, before the cock crow twice, you shall deny me thrice.

Even so, I must applaud Mel's courage in creating this movie. Personally, I did not think the movie would do well, since it was filmed using ancient Aramaic, an almost dead language spoken in only a few places; ironically, Iraq is one of those, Syria is the other.

Mel tried to depict the agony that Jesus had to go through in the last hours of his life.  He tried to incorporate in this movie what nobody had done in the last 2 millennia - show the brutality committed against a holy, just, and sinless man.

Who Killed Jesus?

We can say that we killed Him with our sins, but the stark reality is that Yeshua, our Messiah, was killed by the Roman soldiers as per a decree by Pilate. We cannot blame the Jews, as only a small portion of them were part of the rabble that yelled "Crucify him," a  rabble that was stirred up by religious leaders.

It was Pilate who had the authority and he allowed himself to be bent by the wishes of a noisy crowd. This crowd does not represent the Jews anymore that a group of unruly soccer fans represent Europeans.

Yeshua/Jesus  had many followers among the Jewish population of Jerusalem. The Bible says:

Luke 23:27
And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

Luke 23:28
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Jesus death was instigated by the religious leaders.  These people were more concerned with their position of leadership than in following YHVH the God of Israel.  The Pharisees of Christ's time were fearful of what could happen if a religious "sect" such as Jesus' followers decided to oppose  Rome. 

Rome at the time of Christ was a gigantic empire, with all of Southern Europe, the North of Africa, and part of Asia under its control.  

The Roman armies could come and destroy the whole city of Jerusalem, and the whole nation.   Some of the Pharisees felt that it was better for one man to die than the whole nation.

John 11:50
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

We cannot say that the religious leaders were Christ's friends; no, the Pharisees were his enemies. On more than one occasion the Pharisees tried to stone Jesus to death, and this hatred was derived out of envy.

John 10:32
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?

Still, it was the Roman soldiers that carried out the crucifixion, not the Pharisees.  Pontius Pilate gave the order to have Christ whipped, and later Pilate ordered the crucifixion which was implemented by his legionnaires, even though Pilate had been warned by his wife not to do so:

Matthew 27:19
When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have you nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

Roman soldiers killed Christ, but they knew he was a just man; it was Pilate that said:

Matthew 27:24
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you [to it].

Still the Roman soldiers did not know that Jesus was the Son of God.  Jesus said:

Luke 23:34
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

By giving in to a group of rabble rousers Pilate weakened the imperial Roman government.  He should have stood up to the crowd and let justice prevail, but he set loose the evil Barabbas and executed the Son of God.

Mark 15:15
And [so] Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged [him], to be crucified.

Imperial Rome

Rome was certainly an evil empire. Many of the Emperors, like Nero, were deviant perverts. Later on Rome tortured and killed many Christians, feeding them to the lions at the Circus Maximus.  Still we should not feel hatred toward the Romans, but we should forgive them as Christ did. (To be continued.)

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