The Expository Files

Passionate About the Passion?

Mel Gibson is an actor that I usually like to watch in movies. He is a devout Catholic with a more traditional perspective. Soon there will be a movie released where he was behind the camera in the director's position. At least, it seems as if there may be, but there are those who hope the movie will never be released. I am intrigued by it, and hope to see it one day. I am not sure that it will get a very wide release. It isn't politically correct. It is about Jesus' death.

My understanding is that Mr. Gibson wanted it to be as realistic as possible. You will only hear Greek, Aramaic and Latin. There are some involved in the project that want English subtitles, and some do not, so I do not know what the end result will be.

Mr. Gibson wants to, as realistically as possible, portray the crucifixion and the events surrounding it as it is described in the Bible. I imagine it will be intensely disturbing. How could it not be? He wants to have Pilate do and say what he did; and Jesus, and the apostles, including Judas. He also wants the chief priests and the Pharisees and their Jewish supporters to do and say what the New Testament says they did and said. That is the part that is causing the problem. Many say it is anti-Semitic to suggest the Bible is true when it describes the events of that day. Those who believe and teach the gospel, of which the death, burial and resurrection are the foundation (1 Corinthians 15:1-3), are full of hate, they charge. They suggest such could cause Jews to be persecuted again.

Just a few things about this:

1. One cannot believe and practice the Bible and be politically correct, so don't try.

2. If the gospel is not trustworthy about the death, burial and resurrection, then neither is it reliable regarding the salvation it offers in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:12-20).

3. Jesus loved and died for all men, Jew and non Jew, without favoritism (Acts 10:34,35).

4. We should never regard with contempt a person for whom Christ has died
(Romans 14:15).

5. If condemning the actions of the Nazis in WW2 is not being "anti-German" then why is condemning the actions of those who asked Pilate to crucify Jesus "anti-Semitic"?

6. If praising the actions of courageous Germans who tried to hide or protect Jews during those dark years is in order, then why not the actions of brave Jews who faced persecution in the first century because of their faith in Jesus, their fellow Jew?

7. If anything, it is those who object to the movie because it depicts accurately the
account of the gospel who are the intolerant, the hate-filled, and who want to silence the faith of believers.

Finally, as the Jewish apostle Paul said, "Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. " (Romans 10:1-4).

That is love; to desire others who do not yet know the Savior will learn of Him. That scares the enemies of the cross. I can want nothing better for the Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, or the atheist than for them to come to the Father, and as Jesus said, there is no other way than by Him. (John 14:6).

By Jon W. Quinn
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From Expository Files 10.10, October, 2003