For the past two class days (Wed/Fri), students in my “Jesus in Contemporary Culture” class have been watching Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. This is the first of six movies we will be watching together throughout the semester. Since our class sessions are only 50 minutes long, there wasn’t enough time during our Wednesday session to reach the point in the movie where Jesus begins to suffer in earnest. However, today students were treated to nearly 40 minutes of in-your-face, extremely graphic, painstakingly slow suffering. The violence perpetrated against Jesus in this movie can only be described as over the top.
I haven’t seen this film in several years and a number of thoughts came to mind as I was watching today: (1) The presentation of Jesus’ suffering is rather unrealistic. Any human would have been long dead after the nearly 14-minute scourging Jesus receives in the film…
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