Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Passion of the Christ

I've heard some of my friends say that they don't want to see the movie. I understand the sentiment; when the movie first came out, I thought the same thing. It definitely makes an impression on you, that's for sure! And as one of my friends explained, you can't go back and "unsee" something, so she's holding off.

This year I heard a description of the movie that resonated with me. Someone told us it was the cinematic version of Handel's Messiah. Yes! That's it. Exactly! Like the Messiah, the movie IS the gospel for sinners, but in a different art form. And it is rich and full and deep.

One of the things I want to do someday is to figure out all the psalms that Jesus prays in the movie. For example, before He is to be scourged, what Jesus prays is not just an extemporaneous prayer for help, but it is from a psalm.

Last time I watched the show, I noticed not only the words of some psalms, but also the context. (That's why I want to look them all up, so as to bask in more of the contexts.) When Jesus takes up His cross on the Via Dolorosa, He prays, "I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant ...." Do you know what comes right before that in Psalm 116? "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Hey, that fits too! And do you know what comes right after those words placed into Jesus' mouth in the movie? "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving." Hey! We often think of that psalm in the context of the liturgy, but THE sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of thanksgiving, was about to be butchered that Friday long ago.

How many more sweet things like that are tucked away in the film? This movie is a masterful work of presenting the gospel, always with more beauties of God's love to be found woven into the piece. Every time I see it, I look forward to discovering more of those treasures.

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