more on the passion

Here are some comments from Doug Pagitt that I identified with to some degree. For the entire entry go here:

A few theological comments. I am glad to see theological comments being made in movies and am not intending to say the movie-makers should do anything else. The place my theology departs from the movie is in the amount of suffering before the crucifixion. The beatings were so severe and in my opinion an over-stretching for what probably happened. (I don’t think any human body could take the kind of beating the movie showed and not loose consciousness, let alone stand). But the real issue was the disproportionate amount of beating in comparison to the crucifixion. From what is in the bible it is unclear how long the beatings took, but less than 3 hours is a reasonable assumption. The time of Jesus on the Cross was probably about 3 hours. But the movie placed most of the time on beating and the cross was almost a brief relief from the scourging. I found myself saying, “just get him to the cross”. I wanted the pain to stop. That is where I find trouble with the beatings focused sacrifice. If our thought of the sacrifice of Jesus was what he took in the beating, and not the loosing of his life we end up with different story. We could end up with a story that says we will suffer in this life and this body, but we will escape that suffering through death. It makes death the freedom (almost Brave Heart like. Interesting). I felt this in the movie. When Jesus cried “It is accomplished” I found myself feeling,” good it is over”. Death as relief?!
But the story of Jesus is not that death is relief from pain, rather that resurrection is the relief from death. I am not saying Mel Gibson tried to do this, but I think many people will conclude that the embraced cross was a good thing. It is the resurrection that the good thing.

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