Jason and I were reminded this morning about this movie....we had a lovely day, it was a gorgeous day with family. We celebrated our Lord's resurrection and we sang beautiful songs....but after we got home and put Avery to bed, Jason suggested we watch the movie The Passion of the Christ.
I saw this movie back in 2004 when it came out in the theater. I spent the majority of the film with my hands over my ears, my eyes closed and balling. It was such a gut wrenching experience that I swore once was enough, I'd never watch that movie again, it was too much for me to handle, even the first time. In 2004, my life was in a different place with Christ. I knew Him and He knew me, but I wasn't close to Him. He was in my heart, faintly but there, but He certainly wasn't the Lord of it. Watching this movie was gut wrenching because of the physical pain that Jesus went through, but I don't think I truly understood the fullness of what it was I was witnessing.
As a 36 year old, I am closer to God than I've ever been, and when Jason said we needed to watch it, we both agreed - as a Christian, I feel that's it's not only our obligation to watch it but also to watch it with our eyes completely open. As I watched the movie, the whippings, the floggings, the cat of nine tails, the taunts, the crown of thorns, and the nailing to the cross, no matter how much I wanted to shut my eyes and pretend "it's only a movie" I just couldn't. It broke my heart in a million pieces - for Jesus and for us. I have fully began to grasp the weight of what Jesus bore on that cross. And while I'll never know what that must feel like, I know that now, I understand that sacrifice more than ever.
As my daughter came out during the movie for another hug, I hugged her so tight I couldn't squeeze her any tighter. As I looked at her beautiful flawless skin, I just kept imagining Jesus as a bouncing baby and then as a man, ripped and bloody, taking the punishment because of me. And I thought about Mary watching as her son went through this torment and I then realized the full weight of what God asked of her, when he told her she'd give birth to the Messiah. She knew that at some point, she'd watch her son die at the hands of man, the very ones He came to save. And then I think about those men, the ones who beat and humiliated Him, as they watched Him breathe His last breath, then watched as the whole earth shook and realized "this surely was the Son of God." And the religious leaders, who turned away from Jesus' being beaten, the very thing they asked for, and the cowards they must have been and the fear He struck in their hearts. And then I thought about our God up in heaven, watching his son bear the weight of all the world's sin, so much so that this beautiful innocent, sinless man, was so ugly to him in the last moments that he turned his back on Jesus from the ugliness He was cloaked in.
But thank God it didn't end that way. Thank God, Jesus came back and rose again. Thank God for loving me that much, loving a lowly sinner like me enough to do that for me. Thank God for sending his son to take my place and for a son who knew what was going to happen, and let it happen anyway. If you haven't seen that movie in a while, I highly suggest doing so.