When a secular critic reviews The Passion of Christ, a child
may as well review the work of Einstein. Pity the critic, for God
delivers a passionate love letter to each of us individually,
rendering The Passion impossible to review.
Critics are split. Half of them can't grasp it. Jesus did
not come to teach us empty platitudes like a corporate motivational
speaker. His expression of love was demonstrated with every step He
took, bearing the full fury of hell to rescue us from our destiny.
Every lash, every brutal blow was met by His determination to overcome
it, for us.
How could a critic possibly sum up the millions of varying
responses to the love of Christ experienced through The Passion?
Glenn Whipp wrote, "What doesn't quite get through is Christ's
message of forgiveness and love."
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "Passion' emerges as
something contrary to Jesus's spirit: unforgiving."
A.O. Scott of the New York Times wrote, "It is disheartening to see
a film made with evident and abundant religious conviction that is at
the same time so utterly lacking in grace."
Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they're writing.
Anyone can say "I love you." Jesus didn't just tell us, He
us. One critic was horrified at the shaking hands of Jesus as He was
scourged. But all I could see through the blood of those hands was the
strength and determination of a love so strong that the full brunt of
brutality couldn’t stop it. Jesus was so resolved to snatch us out of
hell's grasp that He bore our pain. He was thinking of us, the hopelessness of our sin nature,
and with the strength of God He would not let us go.
Experiencing The Passion is as if we are standing on that
mount at Galgotha, bound by every sin committed, every lie, every
jealousy, every harsh word we've spoken, it's in our nature. As I
watched Jesus fight to pick up the cross and walk toward us, all I
could see was Jesus relentlessly coming for me. Christ did what He did
to set the captives free. Every single step was determined. He felt
every blow and He kept coming…for you. He knew you before the day you
were born. He saw your face as He strode through the waves of
brutality. A love like that cannot be denied, and I sit here shaking
at the thought of it. I can hardly hit the right keys.
Our children are taught by Hollywood to revel in violence and by
videogames to pull the trigger. It wasn’t the violence of The
Passion that effected my sons, ages 14 and 11, it was the reality
of what Jesus did for them. It was intense, it deepened their
conviction, they were both glad they saw it and it brought a whole new
depth to our home communion.
Secular critics scramble to pen the strongest condemnations they
can muster to persecute Gibson, threatening this is the end of his
career. I saw Gibson interviewed months ago during production. He
looked like the hounds of hell were after him as somebody shoved a
microphone in front of his face. But Gibson stood his ground in a real
life drama far surpassing the courage he portrayed in "Braveheart."
Gibson ascended beyond this materialistic world
and has invested his time, treasure and talent into something far more
rewarding than his career and our opinion of him. Gibson did
what God told him to do and the world is blessed because of it.
Regardless of gold and silver, his reward and satisfaction comes from on high,
something that secular critics know nothing about. Critics hate Gibson
today just as critics hated Christ 2000 years ago. Gibson is hated
because they hated Christ first.
Jesus ended His ministry with amazing words. Gibson repeated them
in "The Passion of Christ." They are the most significant words in all
"Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."
As secular critics continue to crucify Gibson and The Passion, as
they slave to pen scathing insults and reviews:
"Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're writing."