Passion of the Christ stirs emotions

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, March 17, 2004

By Staff
As a young child I attended church and Sunday school every Sunday. I was a southern born Baptist. I used to watch as the elders of the church led devotion and I would hear them each Sunday singing an old Baptist devotional song with the lyrics, "must Jesus bear the cross along and all the world go free?"
In our diverse society today we watch and hear a variety of unnecessary brutal violence and abuse without a cause on our television screens. This particular Sunday as I took the short drive to the move theater to see the movie 'The Passion of the Christ," I knew quite a bit of the story that I had learned in Sunday school as a child about the biblical suffering of Christ for the world that I was about to see on the enormous screen before me. Oh, I had heard the rumors about the movie. I parked my car, got out thinking about this movie in my mind. As I approached the entrance of the theater to purchase my ticket, there was not a lot of talking going on. This particular ticket line carried the atmosphere of a funeral procession.
Also, I noticed a lot of church people going into the movie theaters in this time. I began to think something was about to unfold from this particular movie I was about to see. The aroma of popcorn set my mind back to the reality of being in the movie theater, so I purchased a cup of popcorn and a coke.
Seating was limited, as explained by the movie attendant. As I entered the viewing room I noticed the seats were packed row by row until I barely found a seat myself. After gaining a seat I had already eaten my popcorn up ten minutes later during commercial previews. I did this by wondering too much about this movie and the people I was seeing seated here. It was quiet during commercials -- I thought about church service-calmness all around me.
Society has long debated the protection of violence and brutal abuse on the movie screens. I must say in my own opinion that the violence in this particular movie was a true violence that had taken place to bear the sins of the world and everlasting life. As the movie presented I began to feel the remorseful sadness in the atmosphere. I watched the Christ character in this movie denied, beaten, spit on, kicked, dragged, slapped and sold for the love of 30 pieces of money. But not once do I remember the character of Christ denying who he was. He definitely told everyone listening who he was.
Prayer, faith and strength were revealed in this movie. There were characters that were revealed with regret of denying the Christ. I watched this movie bring tears and sniffles at its final stage, but these tears were not like any other tears that would be shed at other movies. I even dropped tears myself. There were characters in this movie that revealed the need to save Christ from all the brutal abuse and then a man even helped carry the cross for the Christ character.
Since 9-11 and the War of America we have had our share of total sadness and tears. Once again something great has happened to bring a diverse society together in one place at one time to share tears. I remember reading the close captioned screen when the man told the Christ character these words, "to keep going you are almost there." These words left a great impact upon my soul about this movie. My message from this particular movie after all the brutal violence I had seen done to the Christ character in this movie was for me to "keep going, I'm almost there," and as a diverse society, we too, must "keep going, we are almost there."
Dorothy Washington