The Passion of the Christ
Review By Gary Schmidt

I went to see this movie last night, and I wanted to express my opinions on what I saw.

First of all, this movie is not for everyone to see. It is brutal in its depiction of the hours leading up to the crucifixion. Director Mel Gibson pulls no punches and spares the audience no angles as Jesus Christ is whipped within an inch of his life, then crucified. So be forewarned that the graphic content will definitely offend some people.

That being taken into account, The Passion of the Christ is a harrowing account of the final hours of Christ. The movie begins in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is in turmoil as He prays, and ends at the resurrection.

I've read the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life including his trial and crucifixion. I have to say that this is the closest followed account of what is in the Gospel of what I've seen.

Some film critics have blasted this film as anti-Semitic. I just read a New York Daily News review where the critic says it is one of the most anti-Semitic films since Nazi propaganda films during World War 2. I cannot go into the heart or mind of these critics but I can reason that they went into the screening with a closed mind to begin with. The movie is not, after all, a film about the Jews. It is a film about Jesus. It is about how He suffered in His final hours to pay for our sins. This film critic ends her review with the question, "Whatever happened to the idea that the centerpiece of every major religion is love?" She entirely missed the point of the film. What greater love does she know than what Jesus did for us when he suffered and died on the cross? For these critics to toss their cookies over this when they ask us to endure virtually anything and everything is the height of hypocrisy. For these same critics to complain about the profound violence in this film, I would point them to the final Chapters of the book of Luke.

This film really struck home to me. It was so difficult to sit there and watch my Savior take what He did, knowing He was doing this willingly for me. This is more than just a gory movie. There is Jesus represented on the screen, which makes it very personal for us Christians.

Would I recommend it to you? Absolutely. I encourage you to see it if you possibly can. Please keep in mind what I said concerning the violence. Many people simply cannot endure seeing that kind of violence. The violence is not done for entertainment sake -- it is however done to try to show the true suffering our Savior endured. Certainly parents should see the film first and use wise judgment before exposing younger viewers to it, and even then spend a lot of time explaining before and after what they saw. This would be a great opportunity to take a lost friend or neighbor to a movie.

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