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Gibson film is about Jesus’s love for us

I cannot understand the controversy over Mel Gibson’s new movie, ‘The Passion of The Christ.’ I am a Christian and know the story of Christ’s crucifixion. I saw the movie on Saturday, Feb. 27. I fail to see where or how Mr. Gibson is directly accusing the Jewish people of being responsible for Christ’s death, thus inciting or encouraging anti-semitism. This is a movie about God’s and Christ’s boundless and unconditional love for us.
It is a matter of historical fact that the High Priest, Caiaphas, some chief priests of the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Court), and the Roman Governor, Pontious Pilate, were responsible for Jesus’ trials and the sentence of Crucifixion. Pilate did have Jesus severely beaten, or flogged, before handing him over to be crucified. But, it was the many people in ‘the crowd’ who yelled to free Barabbas, and to crucify Jesus, who were also responsible.
What faith and ethnicity were they? I don’t know. There were many people in Jerusalem for the Passover. They were all responsible, and as Mr. Gibson and Jim Caviezel (the actor who portrays Jesus) pointed out, we are all still responsible today. God gave his son in sacrifice to cover the sins of all of mankind, for all of time. Jesus was born just to die for our sins, a fact Jesus knew throughout his life, and which weighed so heavily on him as he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
God’s sacrifice of his only son (John 3:16) and Jesus’s sacrifice of his very life (Luke 22:42) is the sole purpose of Mel Gibson’s movie. He wanted to show our erring and wayward society that through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ, we all have the opportunity of eternal life (John 3:17). It simply depends on the choices we make.
As for the brutality in the movie, to quote Mr. Gibson, ‘I wanted to shock people. I wanted them to see the enormity of his sacrifice.’ So yes, the movie was very violent. Jesus was severely beaten by Roman guards under Pilate’s command. It is also historical fact that the Romans were a brutal people.
Who caused Jesus’ death is not the point of the movie. But the result of Jesus’ death, which gives us the opportunity of eternal life, is exactly the point of the movie. Jesus endured unimaginably painful torture, suffering, humiliation and a slow, horrific death on the cross, all because he loved us. What greater love could there be?
John 3:16 reads, ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son,’ and Luke 22:42 reads, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ John 3:17 reads, ‘For God did not send his son into the world, to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.’
Personally, I came out of that theater in tears, praying for forgiveness of my sins, and apologizing that some were from just being petty. But, most importantly, I thank Christ again for suffering such a terrible death for me.
Easter has always been a hard day for me to celebrate specifically because of the way Christ was brutally tortured and killed. But, it’s the fact that he died to save us that we celebrate.
I think that this controversy is fueled by those in society and in the press whose only desire is to keep people from knowing Jesus Christ and receiving God’s saving grace.
Theresa L. Baker of Corydon, 40, was reared Catholic but now attends Lincoln Hills Christian Church with her husband, Jerry, an elder. She has read the Passion story ever since she was a child, when she saw the movie ‘King of Kings’ and told her parents, in tears, that Jesus’s death ‘was not fair.’