Jesus Hits the Big Screen

The old Presbyterians used to say that it was wrong to try to depict Jesus in art. No tongue can tell. No painter’s brush can catch the hues of His marvelous compassion and manliness.

As a child going to Sunday School I saw many comic books depicting a smiling man in a white robe with a red sash. Seemed like a nice Guy with a pleasant countenance.

But now Church and secular alike are awaiting the movie “Son Of God” at the theatres. There will be more of the early life and happy Galilean tour in this account before we get to the Passion (Mel Gibson’s only focus).

Any portrayal I fear will fall short, just as description of the model Christian and statement of faith seems to do in our circles. There is always something more.

Is the most powerful depiction of Christ to be found  in the lives astoundingly changed by the Good News? There is the power; there is the attractiveness. It is world-wide in many colours, climes and cultures. People loving Him whom they have not seen.

Many in the Church think that the movie  becomes a point of contact with the unchurched who will not attend conventional services or read the Bible. This is regrettable. We are told that the Word of God has incomparable impregnating power (“begotten with the Word of truth”). No film can match it.

We will see. I will probably check it out in the near future.

But in spite of all this, look at a previous post:



3 thoughts on “Jesus Hits the Big Screen

  1. I must confess, I went to see it at the first showing in my area and it left me a bit flat but only because I’d seen it before many times. The effect it had on the theatre goers who had not seen the mini-series “The Bible” was significant. Basically they took the Jesus portion of the mini-series and re-cut re-packaged it for the big screen. And i’ll admit it was nice to see on the big screen though I fell asleep four times. Why did I fall asleep? There was something very lukewarm and bland about the thing, not the story itself but in the acting, the choice of actors and the fact that so much was left out. I was really excited to go see it, but Truth be told I felt deceived by it…I’d seen it before this was no new movie. I don’t know of anyone Christian/non-Christian who has any tolerance for “bait and switch” and uses the good name of The Lord in the process. Omitting satan from the story was like leaving Darth Vader out of Star wars.

    1. I must admit Anthony. I posted this in part to elicit your response. I knew that you were going. I shared your hopes that it might be a Gospel grand slam. But is it possible that Jesus is more in the gracious elbow rubbing than in the extravaganza? As for the power of a film’s visual impact, I must confess that I will never forget Mother Mary wiping the blood from beneath the whipping post while Mary Magdalene watched in wonder (The Passion of the Christ). See the post Bloodied Cobblestones. The music video includes the movie scene.

  2. I must admit also that I knew, that you knew, I would respond. “But is it possible that Jesus is more in the gracious elbow rubbing than in the extravaganza?” Yes…in a very real way in every sense. what happened in the theatre while waiting for the movie to begin and afterwards.

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