Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Passion for "The Passion"

The long awaited Mel Gibson movie "The Passion" opens February 25th. Much has already been said about this movie. To hear from Jewish leaders, such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), this movie will start pogroms such as the Holocaust and what happened in medieval Europe. Once again Jews will be treated as inferior for their role in the killing of Jesus Christ. I tend to see their side of the argument...to a point.

I can see how someone, who is not a Christian, would see this movie as showing Jews in the worst light. There are two guilty parties in this film: Jews and sadistic Roman soldiers," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "And at various points, the Romans have some compassion on [Jesus] but not so the Jews, except for the Jew forced to carry His cross."
He added, "I walked away shocked that what it does is reinforce the classic medieval notion that the Jews killed Christ."
First, some questions: who was Jesus? Why was he here? Who really killed Jesus Christ?

Jesus was the Son of God. He was sent to make a new covenant. Jesus was sent to save the Jews. Jesus was a Jew. He, his family, his disciples, his supporters were Jewish. Jesus was not sent to start a new religion. He was sent to save the Jews. The Jewish Leadership killed Jesus, not the Jews. If all of the Jews had been against Jesus and his teachings, then Christianity would never have been born. Most of the people known as Christians would still be pagans, because the followers of the Way were much more evangelical than Jews. The early Church debated the need for people to convert to Judaism before becoming a Christian. The crucifixion of Jesus was done for political motive. The Jewish leaders could not stand their authority being questioned and the Romans feared rebellion.

However, I think the ADL is missing the point of the movie. "The Passion" may be graphic and compelling but anti-semitic? Either the ADL has never read the Gospels, or they have an axe to grind. The people seeing this movie and going out and starting pogroms on the Jews do so without needing to see a movie. These people already hate Jews. A normal Christian person would not see this movie and think the Jews are evil.

Personally, I cannot wait to this movie. After reading the accounts of the movie, it must be very powerful to illicit such strong emotions. I hope that unlike "The Last Temptation of Christ" this movie will live up to the hype.