by Johnny Hunt

Understanding the Passion of the Christ
Johnny Hunt
Isaiah 52:17-53:12

INTRODUCTION: Isaiah 53 has been referred to as the gospel of the Old Testament evangelist. Another said it was the Mt. Everest of Old Testament prophecy or the gospel in its essence. It looks as if it was written below the Cross.

After watching The Passion of the Christ I believe many will say we will never look at Easter the same. In a review of the film, movie critic Roger Ebert said, ‘‘It is a film about an idea - an idea that it is necessary to fully comprehend the passion if Christianity is to make any sense.’’

There has been a great deal of controversy concerning the extremely violet depiction of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus in The Passion. But the whole point of the movie is to get across the message that appears in its opening frames in which a passage from Isaiah 53 is quoted.

Isaiah 53:5 - But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

The movie is not about blaming the Jews or the Romans; it is about the price that had to be paid to redeem mankind. The Passion in movie and in scripture takes us as viewers and readers to a place few, if any, of us have ever been in terms of understanding fully the sufferings of Christ. Our suffering Christ has always been a sterile, clean Jesus, not covered in spit and blood, not with ripped and torn flesh.

Based on Isaiah 52:14, Mel Gibson would have exercised some restraint in portraying the violence of the scourging and torture of Jesus. It says, ‘‘His visage was marred more than any man.’’ In other words, Jesus was beaten to the point that He was no longer recognizable.

To portray the torture and death of Jesus as anything less than it was would not do justice to what He did for us as individuals. And herein may lie the biggest problem that people have with The Passion. Watching the beating and crucifixion ...

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