On the motivation behind his production of The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson said, “This is a story about love, hope, faith and forgiveness. Jesus died for all mankind, suffered for all of us. Its time to get back to that basic message.” After the film’s premier in the spring of 2004, it quickly became one of the largest grossing films of all time. For Gibson it defined Easter.
Although I must admit that I did close my eyes through some of the most violent moments, my favorite part of the film was the last 14 seconds. Here the focus is on the resurrection of Jesus – sitting up in the tomb, exuding a life and peace unfettered by crucifixion. In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes of the resurrection, “Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man and his divine Principle, Love.”
In the intervening 7 years since seeing The Passion of the Christ, I have often pondered its last 14 seconds as the triumph of Jesus example of “love, hope, faith and forgiveness”. Perhaps one might conclude that his finding and living his “life in God” resulted in the resurrection. If so, what better reason then to wish you all a Happy Easter!