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Presentation of Religion in the Passion of the Christ

Religious beliefs are based on historical accounts of the occurrences recorded in available books, such as the Bible and the Quran. The Christian religion is entirely dependent on biblical information concerning the nature of God and how He relates to humanity. Central to the Christian faith is the story of Jesus from his birth from a virgin to his brutal death by crucifixion on the cross. Filmmakers have dramatized the life and times of Jesus in various movies, such as The Passion of Christ. The film’s director, Mel Gibson, focuses on the suffering of Jesus by covering the last 12 hours before his crucifixion and events surrounding his death, including the trial and conviction before Pontius Pilate. This paper discusses the various religious issues raised in the movie.

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Two Religious Issues Treated in the Movie

The first religious issue arising in this movie is the canonical belief that Jesus was crucified and died as an atonan ement for the sins of humanity. In other words, Jesus was a sacrificial lamb, and he was destined to die such a death, as it was a necessary step towards reconciling God with sinful human beings. According to the Christian religion, God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden, where they were supposed to live in harmony, communing daily with their creator. However, Satan, masquerading as a snake, convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, which marked the entry of sin into the world. The two were banished out of the garden and told to fend for themselves. However, in His loving kindness, God sought a way of redeeming failed humanity and restoring a healthy relationship with people. However, because He is unchanging, for the restoration of such a relationship there had to be a sacrifice, which was presented in the form of Jesus. Ultimately, Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for the sins of many and bring salvation.

In addition, the issue of prophecy, as part of religious dogmas, stands out in this film. Jesus died according to what had been prophesied about Him. The Bible records, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as an s, sheep before her shearers are silent, so he did not open his mouth” (The New Jerusalem Bible, Isa. 53:7). This prophecy is highlighted in the film because, despite the pain that Jesus goes through, he does not complain or rebuke his tormentors. Similarly, the betrayal by Judas Iscariot is prophesied in the Old Testament, “I told them, ‘If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.’ So they paid me thirty pieces of silver” (Zech. 11:12). In the film, Judas Iscariot is paid thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus just as it had been prophesied. The movie has numerous accounts of biblical prophecies about Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Presentation of Religion in the Movie

Religion in the film is presented positively in a consistent manner according to what I know about Christianity. My knowledge about the Christian faith is based on the belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross to bring salvation to human beings. Due to the original sin in the Garden of Eden, where Satan lured Eve into sin, the relationship between God and humanity was severed. Therefore, there was a need for atonement and Jesus fulfilled this requirement by dying on the cross. The movie hinges on the central theme of Christianity, which is the death of an innocent man by crucifixion on the cross.

Everything presented in the movie is consistent with biblical accounts about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The movie captures the innocence of Jesus and the power of God through resurrection on the third day after being buried in a tomb. In the resurrection, Christians have the undying hope that they will not die, and death, in its literal sense, is a transient phase in the long journey to eternalinife ia new earth and heaven where people will rejoice forever without suffering. The movie captures these aspects by including the part where Jesus resurrected from the dead.

Religious Content in the Movie

The movie’s content is mainly drawn from the four gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. However, watching the film gives the viewer a deeper understanding of the suffering of Jesus, and it leads to several questions regarding the story of salvation. Words, as written in the bible, do not create the appropriate mental pictures needed to understand the suffering that Jesus went through. Therefore, by watching the film, I had a moment of reflection concerning my life decisions and behavior, specifically about my relationship with Christ. I had to think critically about whether I am living a life worth the cost that was paid for the remission of my sins. The film highlights the gravity of the initial sin committed in the Garden of Eden because Adam and Eve could not follow simple instructions by refusing to eat the forbidden fruit. It also confirms Jesus’ observation that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and people have to be aggressive and valiant to stand for what they believe in lest they are swayed by baseless doctrines.

Nevertheless, the movie is also another source of consolation that, as believers, we do not need to be perfect. Peter, one of Jesus’ trusted disciples, denied Christ as it has been predicted (The Passion of the Christ). However, it does not mean that Peter had deserted his faith in Jesus – it only implies that as human beings, we have weaknesses, and they should draw us closer to God than pupushs away from Him. After Peter realizes his mistakes, he repents, foris given, and continues with his ministry. Similarly, every time we fall short of grace through our actions and weaknesses, we can always repent.

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Reflection

I think Mel Gibson did a great work in this movie as it captures the biblical story about the betrayal, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The movie is accurate in its depictions about the events that unfolded during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and thus I would recommend anyone interested in understanding religion, specifically Christianity, to watch it and have a view of what Jesus went through. As mentioned earlier, the narration of Jesus’ suffering as written in the gospels might not evoke the right images of what transpired.

However, watching the movie and seeing the violence that is associated with it raises some questions for critical thinking. For instance, was it necessary for Jesus to undergo all that suffering in order to bring salvation? In addition, the narrative about Judas betraying Jesus does not make sense to some extent. If Jesus was as popular as indicated in the bible, how is it possible that the soldiers who came to arrest Him could not identify Him from the crowd? My argument is that if these people knew Judas Iscariot, they probably knew Jesus, and thus one of my unanswered questions is about the exact role of Judas Iscariot in the crucifixion narrative.

Additionally, the troubling nature of the violence in the movie makes one wonder why God, ball-knowingowing, Alfa and Omega, the beginning and the end, did not find an alternative way of saving humanity. For instance, He could have prevented Satan from tempting Eve. I know these questions wade into the philosophical debate about Christianity and religion at large. However, I would encourage anyone watching this film to reflect on such issues and endeavor to find answers. I hope these questions elicit an objective debate about the underlying beliefs concerning our faith as Christians.

Conclusion

The Passion of The Christ is a captivating film about the suffering, betrayal, conviction, death, and the resurrection of Jesus. The director, Mel Gibson, gives a graphical and violent dramatization of the events that surrounded the last moments of Jesus on the earth. The issues of salvation and prophecy feature prominently throughout the film. I would recommend others to watch the movie. However, as people go through the narrative, I would encourage them to reflect on some of the questions that I have raised in this paper. For instance, what is the role of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal given that Jesus was popular, and the soldier that came to arrest him could have identified Him easily? I hope these questions will contribute to the objective understanding of Christianity.

References

  1. The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Susan Jones, Doubleday, 1985.
  2. The Passion of the Christ. Directed by Mel Gibson, performance by Jim Caviezel, Icon Productions, 2004.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Presentation of Religion in the Passion of the Christ." March 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/presentation-of-religion-in-the-passion-of-the-christ/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Presentation of Religion in the Passion of the Christ'. 23 March.

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