We've heard from rabbis and priests, critics and Christians. But what would the people who were actually there say about The Passion of the Christ?
I think it might sound something like this:
FROM: John, The Disciple Jesus Loved
TO: Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God, etc.
Great job by Brother Mel Gibson. Isn't it amazing to see what can happen when someone in Hollywood finally asks for your help?
I guess you knew it would turn out this way, but the rest of us were pretty surprised after being slandered and mocked in movies like The Last Temptation of Christ. (I was surprised you didn't smite Hollywood for that one.)
The Pope is right. "It is as it was." I should know. I was there. And I agree with the critics who say it was not that violent. It was actually so much worse.
But what did anyone expect? I know it's hard for mortals to see the big picture, but this was spiritual warfare - the ultimate showdown between good and evil. And evil did its worst when you laid down your life for all of us.
After seeing what an amateur like Saddam can do, they shouldn't have such a hard time believing the original great Satan could be so cruel. Considering the galaxy of sins you atoned for on the cross, I was surprised the movie was not three days long.
But in spite of the critics, I have faith that this movie will open some hearts. Many are leaving the theaters inspired by your love and sacrifice.
And wasn't it wonderful to hear some of your best quotes from my Gospel? My favorite was when you said, "Every one that is of the truth hears my voice." It was as if you spoke directly to each person in the audience - but, of course, you did.
FROM: Peter, The Rock On Whom The Church Was Built
Saw your memo to the boss. After 2,000 years, can you just give it a rest about "the one whom Jesus loved''? He loves us all. Even the worst sinners.
I agree about the movie, though. The portrayal of my embarrassing denials that day was not flattering, but I have to admit it was accurate.
Paul said we should make a list of all the things you will never hear from the critics.
Such as, this movie was actually beautifully understated in so many ways. And far from being anti-Semitic, it really is a love story with the ultimate happy ending. How can anyone leave the movie without seeing the message in Mary's eyes, that we all killed Christ?
We forgive them for missing the point, of course. They are so saturated with senseless violence in movies, they don't know how to accept a positive story of faith, hope and love.
And lost souls still refuse to see the evil in the world. Those scenes of the scourging unmask the naked face of hell - and that must be very uncomfortable for people who are sure it doesn't exist.
Don't the people who are yelling about this movie sound just a little bit like the mob who shouted "Crucify!" that day? It's still easy to draw a crowd like that, more than 2,000 years later.
The Christ's words have lost no power. I could almost hear the crackle of lightning when he said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me."
The most radical words ever spoken still cut like a sharp-edged sword. As Jesus said: "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."
Amen. Good movie - but the book is better.
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