The Passtion of the Christ: A Running Diary

So here's an experiment in 21st century evangelism.

But, first, the set up: each Good Friday, I watch The Passion of the Christ with my wife. When my daughters are old enough--they are 2 1/2 years and 17 months, respectively, so it will be awhile--they'll join in.

Now, we only watch the movie once a year. The reason is, I don't want to trivialize it. It's like the first scene of Saving Private Ryan. Remember the first time you saw it? Took your breath, right? Now, because it's one of my favorite movies, I've seen it quite a few times and that sense of shock and awe has gone away. I never want that to happen to The Passion of the Christ. That's why I'm not eating popcorn, not drinking a Coke, not doing anything that makes this movie anything akin to entertainment. That's not why I'm watching it. Indeed, I enter into it very prayerfully and very seriously. It's not scripture, but it is an artistic response to a literal event. Symbolism, if you will. And throughout history, as was pointed out in the Easter sermon this morning, God has used symbolism to point His people toward a spiritual truth. Think communion, baptism and other means of grace/spiritual ordinances.

I think this movie is no different. For those of you in Emmaus, you'll get the reference: I think this movie is a modern means of grace (at least it is for me) because it is a time when Christ is RE-presented to me through one person's artistic response to Jesus Christ's salvific sacrifice for human sin. Not only that, but watching the film is, for me, an act of worship.

Now, I'm home alone tonight. My wife and kids are out of town with my in-laws; I came back early because I'm not off work tomorrow and she is. Given that we didn't watch The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday, I'm watching it myself here. I'm properly "prayed up" and ready to go.

So, back to the experiment: I am writing a running diary of my watching the film while also providing real-time commentary on Twitter. It's an interesting experiment, I think. I'll both keep the diary on the blog as I watch and wait to publish them all when I'm finished. In the meantime, I'll be posting my initial thoughts on Twitter (which only allows 140 characters, so any deep exposition is impossible) before culling them together for a final running diary I'll post here an hour or so after the movie is finished.

Well, gotta run. I'm getting ready to push "play."

Praise God, for He is risen indeed: "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is not here; He is risen. Come see the place where He lay."

Grace and peace...