The Passion of the Christ: A Running Diary

First, read the set up here.

Now, onto the running diary...

Well, it's Isaiah 53:5 to be specific...aw, heck, let's look at the whole context. And, as the movie is pointing out, let's remember this was written 700 years before the birth of Christ.

Great mood music, ethnic, chilling.

First chill bumps...Jesus calling His Father/Lord's name in Hebrew: "Adonai! Adonai!"

"Are you in danger? Should we flee, Master?" Remember, he had fled traps before...the religious leaders were after Him for some time. This time, though, it was different. Think the disciples knew?

Poor disciples...how would they have known what to think, to see their Master, their Rabbi, their Messiah, afraid and "sorrowful even to death."

Think Satan confronted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Notice that? He referred to His Father as "Abba," which is more informal, more akin to saying "Daddy." Whew...chilling. The portrait of conflict between Son of God and Son of Man, of divinity vs. humanity. He had been saying "Adonai," or "Lord." Now he's pleading to His "daddy," literally asking, "Is there some other way?" Surely He knew the answer was no...and that was the crux of His mental anguish. Still, "Not my will, but yours be done."

Even more interesting now, at least in terms of how the movie is portraying it. Again, it's not scripture. But you can hear Jesus praying, and now He's using every word for God He can think of: "Elohim"...."Abba"...."Adonai." Literally anything to get God's attention and, perhaps, save Himself from the anguish that is to come.

Love that...stomping on the snake. More creative liberty, of course, but nice.

Man, I bet Peter wanted to smack the taste out of Judas' mouth.

Even being betrayed, look at the sympathy on Jesus' face. Only He could realize the depths of the betrayal, and what it would set in motion.

Would I have run? Fearing arrest, would I have left my Messiah there? Would I, like Peter, have fought?

Interesting thing going on. I would imagine Jesus would have been torn in a way I hadn't considered. He would be sad at His having to leave His earthly mother and nostalgic at His memories here, but surely He was, on some level, pleased to be able to leave the confines of a broken world to be back with His father in Heaven.

And there's the kicker. A kangaroo court, convened illegally, witness testimonies contradicting each other...yet Jesus effectively seals His own fate. "I AM!"

Peter, Peter, Peter...how tragic to bail on your best friend, your Messiah, your God, just to save your own skin. Of course, they all bailed on Him and, heck, we're still doing it today.

"My kingdom is not of this world." The key distinction no one understood. Once those waving palm branches just a week eariler understood He had no intention of overthrowing Roman rule, they were finished with Him.

Not sure I can watch the cat-o-nine-tails flogging. I remember seeing it in the theater and turning away, and God immediately bringing to mind the scripture in Isaiah: "....and we hid, as it were, our faces from Him...." When I looked away, and remembered that scripture, I wept bitterly.

Not in scripture, but Mary's thoughts here are striking and must have been on her and the disciples' minds: "How will you choose to be delivered of this?" When did they realize He had no intention of being delivered, but instead would follow it all the way to death at Calvary?

Tears flowing now. This is the part of the movie that always gets me...the cut from the Roman soldiers' bloody feet to a flashback to Jesus washing His disciples' feet. Christ as servant, first in a symbolic act of washing feet, then the real deal: His sacrificial death as the ultimate act of service.

Flashback scene to the woman caught in adultery. Ever wonder what Jesus wrote in the sand? I heard someone once say He was writing the sins of each of those who had brought the woman to Him for judgment. If that's true...wow.

"Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more."

How many chances did Jesus have go get Himself off the hook? That was the last one. Pilate: "Don't you know I can set you free?" Jesus: "You really think that? You have diddly-squat. Any power you have has been given by God...and it looks like He's already made up His mind." I should go back through the Gospels and count how many chances Jesus had to get Himself out of trouble--and I'm talking legit chances, not just the causing-angels-to-appear-and-wipe-everyone-out kind. Tangible, earthly chances where He could have just walked away. This was the last one.

Look at how He embraces the cross, as if it were a friend. If only we had that attitude..."If any man be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me." So, if you do that, where is Jesus going...to where are you following Him? To the cross. To Calvary.

The scene between Jesus and His mother...no words. As a parent, I can't imagine. Now consider our Heavenly Father's response, and what love it required to allow such a thing to happen in the name of an unworthy people's salvation.

Perfect illustration of substitutionary atonement. Simon saying "I'm innocent, and He is condemned." It was our guilt that caused it in the first place. "He became sin who knew no sin so that we might be called the children of righteousness."

Here's the crux of the whole thing..."No one takes my life from me. But I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down and power to take it up again."

Wow. Never noticed that before. After Simon helps lay the cross down, the soldiers tell him "You're free to go." Exactly. Who really belonged on that cross, on that hill, who really deserved that death? You. Me. Everyone.
As Mark Driscoll says, "He lived the life we could not live. He died the death we should have died."

Another great cinematic juxtaposition. Christ, in the upper room, pulling the cloth off the bread for that first communion, then cutting to Christ's body being exposed as the soldiers rip the clothes from Him, the Bread of Life.

Great camera shot. Jesus' blood dripping as, in the background, Mary Magdalene lies seemingly beneath it.

Ahhhh...the Resurrection. He is risen indeed. "You come looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified? He is not here. He is risen. Come see the place where He lay!"

Grace and peace...you must accept the first before you can have the second.

Grace. And Peace.

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