Sunday, February 29, 2004

The Passion of the Christ


Our Church got together and went to the 7 p.m. showing of “The Passion of The Christ” at Tinseltown theater in Fayetteville. I would venture to say that the theater was packed with mostly church folks along with some “seekers” for sure. Personally, I love spiritual events where the public attends in large groups.

For me to say that I am at a loss for words in describing this film is an understatement. In fact my father used to say to me, “Son, practice being quiet.” It was and is for me, an unnatural act to not have words. So to say that I am at a loss for the right words to describe this film is, for me, an unusual truth.

We have all heard those on TV in their attempts to describe this film. It appeared to me, that the ones that had the most to say about it, were those who hadn’t actually seen it. I suppose for me to attempt to describe this monumental portrayal of what Jesus of Nazareth went through in his agony during the days of Gethsemane, the trial and the cross would do it an injustice. All we have in any detail are the four Gospels to describe these events and each one says it a bit differently. These differences are not contradictions, but the writings and the reporting of different authors and different “eyes” seeing the same event.

For instance, if four people were to describe the crowds at the Tinseltown Theater at the showing last night, one writer might write about the length of the lines, while another might describe what people were saying in the lines. For instance in one of the four gospels, it mentions that at the time of the crucifixion, graves were opened and those who had died, were seen in the city. We also have ancient non-religious historical writers that mention the birth, life, death, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

At the close of the movie, the theater was completely silent. No one moved a muscle for what seemed like an eternity. People sat there and just didn’t move. It was as if no one wanted to be the first one to depart the theater. It was as if they were searching their own souls for answers. For me, scriptures I had known all my life flooded my minds eye as if on a lifelong ferris wheel ride. I wanted to shout and cry and be quiet all at the same time. One could write volumes on this but not now. It is too close.

I was impressed at how the fallen nature of man, human nature, and the world has not changed a bit and yet our world has undergone more cultural, religious and technological change" in the last 50 years, than at any time in history. Yet mankind today is the same as those “ancients” who were at the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The same human dynamics that drove the “ancients” drive us today. They needed a savior then and we need one now.

I love what Mel Gibson said on nationwide TV when the critics were concerned that the movie would spark anti-Semitic activity. He simply stated that it was the sins of Mel Gibson that put Jesus on the cross. Certainly mine were there with his.

I would strongly recommend not taking small children to this film and I would strongly recommend every non-believer and believer to see it.

Thank you, Mel Gibson, for I am a changed man for having seen it. Thank you Jesus for even one stripe on your sinless body for me.

(Dr. Knox Herndon is the pastor of His House Community Church (SBC). Rev. Greg Mausz is the senior associate pastor. Dr. Lydia Herndon is the Sunday School superintendent, Bible study coordinator and teacher. The church is on Ga. Highway 85, one mile south of Senoia, just past the fire station on the right. Visitors welcome. Church office and prayer line number is 770-719-2365. E-mail address is Web address is

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