Movie that stays on afterwards

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2004

On the night before Easter, having been abandoned by friends for the weekend, I found myself driving to Montgomery.

I don't know why, but I decided at the very last possible moment to go watch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ again.

I say again because I saw it the weekend it was released, but had other things on my mind, namely the Alabama Press Association s Winter Convention.

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So with it being Easter season, I suddenly wanted to see this movie again.

There’s no doubt that the talk of the media, and the world for that matter, surrounded this film.

I'm sure most know by now that the film focuses on the hours leading to Christ’s crucifixion and vividly chronicles the suffering and pain that He endured to win our freedom.

Gibson focuses on the last 12 hours of Christ in the film. He does so because he wants everyone to be able to successfully identify with the suffering and the horror of that day.

Everyone knows of the crucifixion of Christ, but not everyone identifies with what it must have felt like. I have to say that this movie will stir you to your soul, even if you are not religious.

I watched as very tough looking people openly wept during parts of this movie. Whenever a lapse in the music or dialogue occurred, you could hear the soft whimpers of people around the room.

I'll admit that on more than one occasion, I wiped a tear from my eyes.

Then suddenly, the movie was and I just sat there.

You don't hop up and leave this one. There is no way that I could watch this movie and leave the same.

The account of Christ’s suffering is so powerful that it alters the way that you approach life and eternally changes your perspective on suffering and life itself.

The real theme in this movie is found in its title. Truth be told, it was Christ’s Passion for us that propelled Him to go through the inhumane beatings that He endured. It was His intense love for us that had Him to allow false accusations lead him to be the sacrifice in exchange for our freedom. It was His undying love for us that kept Him on the cross. It was God’s intense love that caused Him to send Jesus to us in the first place.

For Christian viewer, this movie evokes strong emotions and I'll be the first to say I don't understand why.

Some critics said it is overdone and others said it was just right.

I'll say this, if anything, this film should be the boost the world needed.

In this time when American men and women are dying fighting against terrorists, this reminds us why.

And that we are all humans and that Christ died for us all.

Christ died for all races and all mankind.

Ironically, the thing that separates us is the ideals handed down through history.

These ideals teach hatred and separation, which leads me to realize that man isn't the problem, it is what man believes and what he is taught.

Someone died for me and He died for you as well so that we may have everlasting life.

He set the example of what we should all aspire to be and that no matter how hard things get for us, we truly do not suffer to His level.

So when I finally walked away early on Easter morning, I realized that my cross that I bear is one of the smallest around. My cross is nothing compared to His.

Jay Thomas is the managing editor of The Greenville Advocate and can reached at 383-9302, ext. 136, via email at jay.thomas@ or mail at P.O. Box 507, Greenville, 36037.