House Church Talk - Passion

Mike a0006374 at
Wed Mar 3 05:05:43 EST 2004


I agree that the characters were very critical to the overall impact of the
film.  For the most part I felt that all the actors did a very good job
portraying their characters.  From every reliable source I have found Mel is
a very devoted Catholic and as such holds to the deification of Mary. I had
problems with one scene that showed Mary walking around crying, then falling
on the pavestones, hugging them and crying harder.  The camera shot then
went straight through the stones and ground to show that she was directly
above Jesus who was hanging in a dungeon. Also what mother is going to sop
up the blood of her just beaten son?  For that matter, why did Pilate's wife
bring the cloth to her?  Why did all the disciples call Mary mother
throughout the film?  To the best of my understanding and research this was
not a term of respect.  This would actually be disrespectful to their own
mothers, for Jews had and have a strong sense of family.

Mel portrayed the traditional Catholic positions of the cross in the movie.
To do this he had to deviate from historical reality.  To have the two
thieves carry their crossbeams, but Jesus carry His whole cross is an
example of this.  To have the beams all of nicely cut lumber is another.
Historically the Romans did not and would not have used beautifully squared
lumber notched out for a perfect fit to crucify a criminal.  There were no
saw mills.  They didn't go down to Home Depot and pick up square beams.
With the tools available at the time think of the hours involved in
producing such perfectly formed beams.  Those would have been used in the
homes of the very, very rich, not to kill criminals.

The flashback to the Passover when Jesus took the bread and said Take, eat,
this is My body.  They did not use matzo.  They used bread with leaven in
it.  The movie had Jesus just pick up the top piece of four pieces of bread.
Historically, the particular piece that Jesus took was the half of the
center piece from the Unity.  The Unity has three sections, each holding one
piece of matzo.  The center piece is taken, broken in half, hidden, then
later "redeemed" by the father presiding over the Seder service to the one
who finds it.  It was that piece of unleavened bread, taken from the three,
broken, wrapped in a clean linen cloth and hidden away, then brought out,
revealed, and redeemed that Jesus took, broke, and said this represents my
body.  This is a part of the Passover Haggadah that the Jews have been doing
for centuries.  To the Christian the symbolism is obvious.  The three pieces
of unleavened bread in a Unity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The three are One.  The center piece, the Son, is taken broken in half.  One
half left in the Unity.  One half wrapped in a clean linen cloth and hidden
away.  Jesus was all man and all God.  The third cup of the Passover, The
Cup of Redemption, is the cup Jesus took and said, take, drink all of it,
for this represents my blood.  The Passover is a beautiful story of what it
cost to have death pass over us so that we might find life in Jesus. There
was no leaven, no sin, in Jesus.

With these problems (at least to me) and a few others, I still think this
was by far the best portrayal of the Passion I have ever seen. It should at
least give us a briefest glimpse of the smallest portion of the agony my
sins caused my Lord Jesus.

Hope I was clearer without being too long.

Mike S

-----Original Message-----
From: House Church Talk -bounces at
[mailto:House Church Talk -bounces at]On Behalf Of Dan Beaty
Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 8:57 PM
To: House Church Talk
Subject: Re: House Church Talk -  Passion


We saw the movie Saturday. Overall I felt that it was effective in helping
us to understand and appreciate our Lord's sufferings on our behalf. What
did you mean by "Mel's personal religious convictions were evident through
some scenes portraying Mary?"

For me, Mary and the disciples, the man who helped to carry His Cross and
even Pilate pulled us all into the event very powerfully. These and others
revealed how deeply they were impacted by the Saviour in various ways.

These characters were very crucial to the overall impact of the film, IMO.

Dan B.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike" <a0006374 at>
To: "House Church Talk" <House Church Talk  at>
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 8:02 AM
Subject: RE: House Church Talk -  Passion

> I have now seen the movie twice, both times with small groups of my home
> church so we could meet and discuss the movie afterwards.  The beatings
> scourging, IMHO, were not overdone.  If anything, after studying ancient
> Rome and their attitudes of Palestine and having t serve there at that
> the beatings were underplayed.  By far the majority of people did not
> survive the beatings, that is why Pilate gave the specific order not to
> him in the beating.  There were some inaccuracies that surprised me and
> Mel's personal religious convictions were evident through some scenes
> portraying Mary.  I was most disappointed that he left out the Centurion's
> declaration in Mark 15:39, Truly this man was the Son of God.  I was also
> disappointed that it appeared an earthquake tore the veil in the Temple
> it was torn, the best I could tell, from the bottom to the top.
> In my personal opinion I think the movie will have a limited evangelistic
> effect, but a greater effect on Christians in moving them away from the
> gentle Jesus meek and mild who "just" died for our sins to a deeper
> realization of just what a horrible price our sins did cost our Savior in
> agony and suffering.
> Just my personal, brief take on the movie
> Mike S


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