The symbols of blood and violence are not the way a compassionate God communicates with His/Her people. The ancient history of man is violent and symbolizes the long transitional period between Evolution and Creation. Man is an animal and animals need blood and meat, we are still in the beginning of our Creation stage. It is time for the major world religions to put down the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, and their stories of sacrifice and suffering and talk to each other. Start writing Creation stories of love, struggle, accomplishments and great adventures. Christianity is founded on blood and violence as described in the Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ.

Film Review   The Passion of the Christ

 

The Passion of the Christ is a story about the last 12 hours of Jesus The Christ. The film tries to stay true to the words in the Bible, and, as does the Bible, uses the human mind to interpret events of the past. It of course is impossible to determine the accuracy of the events portrayed. Christianity has as its foundation the doctrine of Faith and not necessary proof. Therefore, for Christians the significance of the film is determined by the degree to which it gave visible form to their faith. The extent to which the actor portrayed the acceptable character of Jesus would, in this writer’s opinion, satisfy the belief that the man Jesus could have appeared in physical form resembling the actor. The decision to have the actors speak in the Arabic language of the times lent an authenticity to the film.

The subtitles were written large enough to be easily read and understood without interfering with the film. The settings were convincing enough to give the impression that the audience was witnessing events as they occurred over 2,000 years ago. Clarity with respect to the participation of the various ethnic groups being portrayed was, to this writer, very clear. The film did shed some light on the question as to the identity of the group and or individuals responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.

The film did separate those who were responsible for the physical crucifixion, and those responsible for causing the crucifixion to take place. Without the Jews refusing to accept Jesus as the person who he claimed to be, there would have been no crucifixion. Without the Romans using this method as a suffering of other men, there would have been no crucifixion.

Mankind caused and accepted the crucifixion of the Son of God. This story started long ago in the Garden of Eden as told in the Bible, man was given an opportunity to write the story of his life, and he did. It started with disobedience, blame and lying. The film intertwined the concept of evil with temptation and disobedience. The Gibson’s film portrays evil as an ever-present form in the shape of a snake, the symbol of life, and a pleasing to the eye, young man.

Beauty and cunning are always present, waiting for man’s choice between his assigned task, and the directions of his free will and mind. Eve, in the Bible, could have made the decision to carry out the story of her life as she was told and given. She made the decision to seek something different. She wanted control over what she perceived to be her own destiny.

In the film, doubt, temptation, submission and selfishness follows the character of Jesus around always waiting to catch any shimmer of the self-will flickering in His eye. Satan stays on His trail, so that he would be able to step in at any minute, where the light of escape was visible. Jesus does call out to His Father on several occasions, but it is easy to see that it is the human side of his nature that is calling out. He understands His mission, and is fully prepared to carry it out. God did however, choose to send His Son down in human form in order to experience the human condition in all its pain, weakness, and, doubt. The story would not have been effective if the audience believed that Jesus had a spiritual body that was somehow impossible to feel pain. According to Christian belief, all men were conceived in sin, and as results of the nature of man, he has demonstrated his sinful nature. In order to atone for that sin, a dear price must be paid, and Jesus was sent down to pay the price.

Human kind committed the first sin, human kind turned its back on Jesus, and humankind nailed Him to the cross. The film portrays the characters of the various men who Jesus called to follow Him. They were ordinary men with various human characteristics. Each man represents the 12 individual characters of man. Mary, the Mother of Jesus represented the strength, which some women must have in times of severe challenges.

Mary did not destroy herself with grief, although her grief and pain were real. She too, like Satan, followed in the eye of Jesus giving Him Her courage and Her strength. She gave Him all She had; She was there with Him all the way. Jesus knew that all of His 12 disciples would leave Him. They did not intend to leave him, but they were human, and unless man is able to rise above his human self and give birth to his spiritual self, he will always give in during times of adversity.

Mary had a mission, and that was to give birth to Jesus and care for the child until the man emerged. Jesus had His mission. He was to be the sacrificial lamb. He was to be slaughtered and placed on an altar as an appeasement to God. He had to willingly submit Himself to the worst that was in man- man had to purge himself on the Christ symbol of Jesus. This brings us to the scenes of torture and blood. The hatred of self could be felt in each lash. The actors used to portray the parts of the Romans, and the men who performed the torture, were unattractive, and symbolized some of the worst parts of human nature. Each lash could be felt, and brought up the question, what could one

human beings have done that was so bad as to deserve such torture. As the fluid of life poured out of Jesus body, the term shed came to mind. The skin of His body was torn in such a manner that blood was shed from all wounds. The body and the blood were torn into bit pieces, not enough to produce death, but enough to produce the empathy for great suffering. In submission fashion, Jesus shed this body and His blood. He s then made to carry the Cross-of His own crucifixion. At some point, Simon is made to help Him carry the Cross. The symbol of someone else helping to carry the loss, suggest that this is only the beginning of what is to become the struggle of the Cross. Other men will carry the Cross; other men will give their lives under its weight.

The film depicts the interaction between religion and the state. The Jews, who were portrayed as a selfish, cruel and fearful people, inflicting torture and death on any and all who disobeyed religious rules. The government, was portrayed as a system, which was interested in maintaining social order and control over a people who because of poverty and oppression, had exhibited many antisocial and violent behaviors. The rulers of the land did not want to kill Jesus, but in order to keep order, they gave the Jews what they wanted. The people in the crowd, who represented the human thirst to see others suffer as a way of relieving their own pain and suffering, received what they wanted. Jesus fulfilled His mission. The scene of the Mother of Jesus carefully gathering up his blood and pieces of His body, in the clothes so tearfully provided by the wife of Pilate. The governor did not want to have any part in the crucifixion, he however, had to release, upon request, the thief Barabas, instead of Jesus. The Jews then pronounced their own future with the words, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

God is a God of love. She is the Mother of us all. Can we not teach the love of this Blessed Mother without the Blood Sacrifice and violence? I do not want to pass on to my children this religion of violence. I do not want them to loose faith in religion because of the stories taught in “Church History” courses. The world has its violent heroes, but they do not represent our God or His message for His people. Let the Mother /Father God give us the wisdom to tell stories of hope to our children and work to have the ever elusive Peace On Earth. And So It Is. 

 

 

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