You’ll have to forgive me for talking about something that has already been discussed so articulately and so much, but I had to write it down and what else could I do with what I wrote down…

I was very moved by Mel Gibson’s portrayal of the passion. All the criticisms of it are valid criticisms. It does overemphasize his physical suffering as opposed to his spiritual agony (the hell of separation from his father with whom he was in perfect unity from all eternity). It is hard to convey spiritual agony and impossible to portray the horrible wrath of God almighty. It’s true that the devil is strangely, albeit VERY effectively, portrayed. It’s true that so much context is missing that could have been supplied to make it a stronger fuller presentation of what the crucifixion was all about. And it is true that the accuracy is not 100%, although it’s not bad.

But, when you see THE most significant event of all time graphically presented, when you know it is not fiction, but the truth, when you are familiar the rest of the gospels and all that Christ did, and said, and claimed about himself, (and a surprisingly significant amount of that shows up on the screen in the subtitles too, maybe enough for someone to come to saving faith in Christ) and you understand that it was for you he went through it all, that your life is hidden in him – you don’t really feel like discussing the movie as a movie. You don’t care what its strengths or weaknesses are. You don’t care what exactly Gibson was trying to say in this or that moment of the film. None of that matters. None of it is worth talking about or commenting on in the presence of Jesus and what he did.

You come away knowing him and loving him more. You come away determined to take full advantage of what he came to do and to make his suffering fruitful in your life. He came to bring life and life abundantly. You want to live it. He came to liberate us from slavery to sin. You want to live in the reality of that freedom. Pride, greed, self centeredness, thoughtless or mean words, lack of self control, keeping track of hurts, you want them all to have been conquered, gone, dead, behind us, in his pronouncement, “It is accomplished.”

I only wanted to talk to God. Nothing else mattered.

When we got to the house, without any conversation Daddy and I brought two hymnals out onto the back porch, at whatever very late hour it was, and sat out there and sang before we climbed up to bed.

My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine, For thee all the follies of sin I resign. My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art thou, If ever I loved thee, my Jesus tis now.

I love thee because thou hast first loved me, And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree. I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow; If ever I loved thee, my Jesus tis now.

What thou my Lord hast suffered was all for sinners’ gain. Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain. Lo here I fall, my Saviour! Tis I deserve they place; Look on me with thy favor, Vouchsafe to me they grace.

What language shall I borrow to thank thee dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? O make me thine forever; And should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never out live my love to thee.

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