Those Last Twelve Hours
Thoughts on the movie: The Passion of the Christ


I recently went to see the movie, The Passion of The Christ.  Since then, 
several people have asked what I thought of it. 

It isnít a movie that is entertaining.  It is not a film young children should see. 
You arenít going to go to this movie and sip on a soft drink and nibble popcorn. 
I knew it would be tough to watch and I thought I had some idea about how 
it would be presented but still I wasn't really prepared for what I saw.

 I had read beforehand that this film was very graphic because it was 
depicting the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus.  Those twelve hours 
consisted of the violence and the brutality that He suffered.

It was, by far, the most intense movie I have ever watched. I was glued 
to the screen even though it was terribly difficult to watch.  There were 
times I wanted to hide my face at the cruelty and violence done to Jesus, 
yet I was compelled to watch because I was familiar with the account 
of the crucifixion and I knew there would be victory in the end. 

I think what made it all the more difficult to view is that there was no 
opportunity to relax even for a moment.  I felt like I was half holding 
my breath throughout the movie.  There was no time to take my mind off 
of it because it was so intense. The only thing even close to a break from it 
was a few flashbacks of Jesus' earlier life and those were very short moments.

I knew the crucifixion was terrible but this film makes you see plainly the 
beating, the scourging, and the anguish that Jesus experienced.  I had 
heard and read about the crucifixion many times but I had never 
seen it depicted so explicitly.

Evil was vividly portrayed throughout this movie. Evil was shown in the 
person of Satan as well as in his influence and presence lurking 
in and around the crowds. 

The average person today probably does not think of evil in the way it was 
revealed in this film, however, we have seen it in the atrocities committed in 
our world both past and present. Evil was also evident within those who beat
and scourged Jesus so viciously...and laughed as they did it.

I especially liked the scene in the film where Jesus was praying in the 
garden at the very beginning of the movie. Satan tried to tempt Jesus 
away from accomplishing Godís plan but as the garden scene ended, 
Jesus stepped on the serpent's head as he turned from the temptation. 
I immediately remembered the scripture in Genesis where God said to 
the serpent, ďHe will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." 
The action revealed that prophecy was about to unfold. That particular 
scene was very meaningful to me because Jesus did not yield to Satan 
and it gave me a sense early in the film of the fact that Jesus would triumph.

Another scene that I particularly liked was a flashback to Jesus falling 
down as a child the way small children sometimes do.  It is a scene that could 
have taken place although it is not recorded in the Bible.  Mary rushed to the 
child, Jesus, and took Him in her arms to comfort him, saying, "I'm here!Ē 
Immediately, the scene switches to Jesus carrying the cross and when he 
falls, Mary rushes to him and says, "I'm here!Ē. 

Near the end of the movie there was just a few seconds of complete silence 
in the account between the crucifixion and the resurrection.  You could not even 
hear a breath taken in the movie theatre. It was completely silent in the
room that was filled to capacity. 

After the movie was over, I found myself just sitting there after 
everyone left.  Iím not sure why but I know it was partly because I didn't 
want to go outside the room and have to talk to anyone. It was as if I just 
needed some time to be still and think about what I had just seen.

I thought about many of the things I had read and heard about The Passion of 
The Christ. I thought about who it was that killed Jesus. Some would say it 
was the Romans while others would blame it on a race of people or certain 
religious leaders. Some said the film was anti-Semitic. Personally, I didnít see how 
that could be possible when Jesus himself was Jewish.  The movie very well points 
out the fact that no one was able to take His life from Him.  He gave His life 
for all of us.  At any moment, He could have called ten thousand angels 
to set Himself free but He didnít. 

He went all the way to the cross for a purpose. Jesus expressed it 
from the cross when He said, ďIt is finished!Ē   It was Godís plan and the only hope 
for mankind.  As He hung on the cross, He said, ďFather, forgive them for they know 
not what they do.Ē  His own words tell us who He was thinking of when He was 
dying on the cross. All He did was love the world and, in return, the world crucified 
Him; so the blame would not be on a certain race, city or 
anything else, but it would be upon all of us. 

There are those who bash the film, and they are entitled to their opinion. 
However, we need to be careful that we donít berate something as a way of 
distancing ourselves from having to deal with our own relationship to God. 
I think this is a film that you canít walk away from without it 
making an impact in your life.

The movie was more explicit and graphic than perhaps some would ever 
need or want a film to be. Yet, perhaps we needed The Passion of The Christ
in our world today to shake us out of our complacency.  It makes us comprehend 
more fully just what it was that actually took place in those last twelve hours. 

Pamela R. Blaine
Copyright, February 28, 2004