I saw that movie, The Passion of the Christ, when it came out a few years back. I was one of the people who really appreciated the filmmaking, the editing, the way the story came alive on the screen and the emotions it brought out from the audience.
I also didn't think it was a movie everyone should see. The violence, gore and complete anguish I saw as it related to the main characters was difficult for me, one who mostly watches films as films instead of life-changing experiences, to watch. This week's (March 30- April 5) Bible reading (a long one) brings up some of the memories of seeing the. I find myself wanting a different memory and a different reaction when I read the text -- instead of the images I saw on the screen.
And I think I may have it. This week's text is a narrative that contains so much more than my mind remembers. In Mark chapters 14-15 I've found:
- Conspiracy 14:1-2
- Anointing 14:3-9
- Premeditated betrayal 14:10-11
- Passover preparation 14:12-16
- Jesus predicting his betrayal 14:16-21
- The Last Supper 14:22-26
- Predicting the disciples failure 14:27-31
- Jesus prays -- disciples sleep 14:32-42
- Judas betrays, Jesus arrested, disciples flee -- 14:43-50
- Streaker 14:51-52 (I put that one here just for fun)
- Jesus before the high priest 14:53-65
- Peter denies Jesus 14:66-72
- Jesus before Pilate 15:1-5
- Barabbas 15:6-15
- Jesus mocked as a king 15:16-20
- Simon the Cyrene carries the cross 15:21
- Jesus crucified 15:22-37
- The curtain in the Temple torn in two 15:38
- The soldier who understood 15:39
- Women who watched 15:40-41
- Joseph of Arimathea and the tomb 15:42-47
I see this theme of people sometimes doing good things, other times bad things, I see good people doing the wrong things, people who we don't see as good doing good things. I see people reaching out with compassion and people turning away with disdain. I see women and men devoted to Jesus living out their convictions and also failing miserably.
And I think I see Jesus loving each of them through all of their successes, failures, giving, taking, devotion and disdain. I see Jesus in anguish -- and a centurion seeing God in him.
I see a story that culminates in death being one about life -- just as I anticipate the celebration of Jesus' resurrection at Easter.
I see a story that is moving, engaging and life-changing. And the images of a movie start to fade.