Today I did something I normally do not do – I went to the movies by myself.
I saw Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. I was moved. It’s a powerful movie.
I do not know what I believe when it comes to Jesus Christ, the Gospels, and the divinity. The only thing I am sure of today is that my spirituality is growing.
I believe in a power greater than myself – A Higher Power. And the story of Jesus is a touching and beautiful story.
Now people are getting all worked up over Gibson’s movie. Many claim that the movie is just too violent; not enough time is spent on the resurrection of Christ and merely focuses on the pain and suffering.
But Dear Reader, that is the point! And it blows my mind that is so misunderstood.
Yes, Jesus (to those who believe) is God. But let’s not forget the kicker – Jesus was also a man!
A man who worked for a living, who had friends, a mom, emotions and fears.
Yes, fears! He knew at the end that speaking the truth would kill him. He knew he would be tortured in terrible, brutal ways by an establishment that hated him simply because he was speaking his truth.
He cried in the Garden of Gethsemanie – prayed to his Dad to take it all away. To not let him face the terrible burden he was about to experience. But he said to God “I don’t want this, but let your will, not mine be done.”
He was scared to death in that garden, like any man would be – but he accepted his fate.
His friend betrayed him, his other friends abandoned him in his time of need. That must have felt awful.
The religious leaders of the day whipped and beat him. They coerced Roman officials to first torture Jesus to within an inch of his life and then sentence him to death.
Can you imagine the humiliation, pain and sheer fear Jesus must have faced? And Jesus did this to save all of us. He suffered these horrible things, as a man not as God, to save us.
That is the whole point behind Christian salvation!
Think about it. God is, well, He’s God! Rising from death is as easy as a card trick for God! Actually rising from the dead is a big yawn for the man upstairs. And if Jesus were playing the God role during his torture and execution it would mean nothing. It would be like an actor getting shot with blank bullets – no fear because there is no pain.
In my mind, Jesus took the role of a man to feel what we all feel – with no guarantees that he would be ok in the end. He didn’t deserve this death, but he picked up the check for all us sinners.
And that is brave and noble. Something we should all aspire to.
When they were driving the spikes through his hands and feet he prayed for forgiveness. "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”
Like I said, I don’t know if the Christ story is real or is fiction. But I can and do get inspiration from Jesus.
The next time I am spit upon, made fun of, scared, betrayed, or feel like life is a terrible burden I need to remember Jesus’s words:
“So they hate you, remember I was hated first.”
I don’t need to remind Mel Gibson of any of this – it is what he was trying to show with his movie.