This Christ-denying generation has politically crucified Mel Gibson for daring to speak the truth in ‘The Passion’. Jesus Himself is the Word of God. As in the Gospels he brings a sword, so that those who belong to him are set apart.
An article from ChristianityToday, entitled the Passion and the prejudice reveals a concerted effort to suppress the film, for no logical reason.
- Author of a NYTimes article had personal motivation to write an article hostile to Mel Gibson’s father
- this led to exaggerated speculation that Mel Gibson was a Holocaust-denier and anti-Semite
- the Jewish Anti-Defamation League made premature judgements of the film before anybody had seen it, based on an unauthorized version of the screenplay
- “The Jewish Week” magazine also hysterically announced ‘Jews horrified by Gibson’s film’
and on and on ..
My take on all this is that nothing sells papers like a good controversy. Most media seem to delight in anything that denigrates the person of Christ and the veracity of His claims.
Nonetheless, the good old Christchurch Press (Fri, March 4, 2004) an article on page B6, ‘Who really killed Jesus Christ?’, that identifies the Roman authorities as equally complicit with the Jewish priesthood, in Jesus’ crucifixion.
It also reminds us that the Catholic Church absolved Jews of particular responsibility for the death of Christ, as early a the Council of Trent in 1570, again in the 1960s declaration of Nostra Aetate, and again in John Paul the second’s Vatican II.
Gibson accepts the Christian consensus that the crucifixion was the fault of all mankind. To emphasise this, he is reported to have filmed his own hand hammering in the nails.
There is one other factor, however. Christians believe that Jesus died to “save us all”. This prompts the question that, as his work of salvation had to involve his death, was he consciously responsible for his own fate?
According to the theologian JG Davies, Jesus understood his mission “as necessarily involving a vocation to suffering and death”.
Or to put it more bluntly, if there was a Jew who killed Jesus, was it Jesus himself? [–Sunday Times]
After seeing the movie for myself, it is clear to me that Jesus humbly allowed himself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter. But this did not constitute suicide as the final comment seemed to imply: rather, it was in faithful obedience to God the Father and love for humanity, that Jesus made the greatest sacrifice. This is borne out by his words to the thief crucified next to him: ‘Truly, this day you will be with me in Paradise.’
Jesus knew what he was doing. And He is Risen indeed!