Friday, August 20, 2004

The Passion - 6 Months Later

Yesterday I was going through a stack of papery junk in my bedroom and came upon a copy of People from the spring. Mel Gibson's Passion was the headline. (Okay, I admit it. I'm a Hollywood Junkie. I hate Hollywood, but it really fascinates me. Does that make me shallow? Probably, but there you have it.)

I opened it up and looked at the pictures. The day before, while driving down Tollgate Road, I had recalled the scourging scene and my stomach began to do flip-flops. The memory of the actual crucifixion doesn't traumatize me. The scourging does. Something happened to me while watching the flaying, and the way it lasted, seeming to never end. Whenever I think of it, I still want to stand up and scream, "Stop it! Just stop it! Can't you see He's had enough? How much longer can this go on! Stop it, stop it, stop it!" And the nausea comes.

When I remember the scourging scene something happens to me. I get much the same feeling as the memory of my miscarriage, hemorrhaging horribly in a public restroom, blood, lightheadedness, blood, toilet water, blood and fear, blood and wondering if the baby was in the toilet and, "Dear God, I hope I don't ever have to go through that again." It's a dark sick moist feeling, a dread, a helpless raising of inner hands against an onslaught.

For that reason, I do believe I'll never watch The Passion again. I'm glad I saw it for it changed my view of my own redemption, raised the preciousness of His sacrifice, and humbled me beyond belief. It made me want to love as He loves.

On that drive down Tollgate Road, I implored Jesus to tell me it wasn't as bad as that. That a big chunk of skin wasn't ripped away exposing His ribs. And if someone who knows history can tell me the scene was excessive and therefore inaccurate, I would stand relieved. However, does that matter really? The fact is, He would have gone through it no matter how bad it was. And that is exactly the point.

grace on you this day,



Blogger Michele Hastings said...

Hi Lisa,first I wanted to introduce myself. Paula, a friend of mine, started blogging recently and when she told me about her blog she also recommended yours. Yesterday I did some reading at your blog site and then set up my own. (Had some trouble at first and lost 2 posts but I think I'm working the kinks out.)What actually inspired me to set up an account was I wanted to comment on your kids getting baptised. I wrote about it on my own blog but to sum it up...we have two adolescent boys that we've homeschooled from the get go and I WISH they wanted to be baptised this week at our church's baptismal service but they have no interest. We go to a Vineyard church by the way. I've also written and self-published a book and I've read two of your novels! (So I feel connceted to you already.)I wanted to also tell you that the scourging scene in The Passion was what got me too. I thought while watching that...I sure hope you think we're worth it Lord...

August 20, 2004 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 20, 2004 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Hi Lisa:

I saw The Passion with my husband and we both started crying from the first frame on. While we both walked out different people (appreciating Christ's death and resurrection all the more), there were those outside the theater who complained about the violence, complained about the gratuitousness, complained about everything. I just wanted to turn around and scream at them and tell them what fools they are -- we tolerate the violence churned out by the Hollywood machine that caters to 14-25 year-olds, but we complain about The Passion? This isn't fantasy! A man, who is also God, was tortured, humiliated and crucified for YOU, you idiots! But the movie also showed us Jesus' love, so I bit my tongue. Hard.


August 20, 2004 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I think I'm going to make viewing "The Passion" part of my lenten observances, a modern way of doing the stations of the cross.

No, it was not entertaining to sit through that relentless scourging, but if anything prepares you to participate in Good Friday, the movie does.

August 21, 2004 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I saw the movie so I could offer my own informed opinion. And I thought that it would have been more effective to focus on a longer period of time than those last twelve hours. My specific example is from 1977, since no one has done it as well since - that I've seen, and I don't pretend to have watched every film that's how there. So, I would rather watch Franco Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth."

That's what I got out of "Passion." Also, when I wanted to say "Stop it" during the scourging scene, I was pleading Gibson to end the scene since it's way too late to talk to those soldiers, eh? ;)

Still, I love that the movie gets people talking about Christ. I applaud that.

August 21, 2004 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger ragamuffin diva said...

I skipped the Easter parade and pastel frock and sat in a darkened theater, alone on Easter morning. I cried during the whole movie, all the way home, and for an hour once I got home. Then I cried as often as I thought about it, and that was often.

I think it was worse than the movie. The scriptures reveal that He did not resemble a man after that awful beating, but you're right, Lisa. He would have done it anyway, to redeem just one of us if that's all He needed to save.

I was as horrified and changed as Gibson intended, but two scenes really stand out to me: when the adulterous woman reached for His feet, and when Jesus laughed and kissed his mother. What a wonderful Jesus Gibson gave us in that film. Thanks for this post.

August 22, 2004 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

I have to fess up. I haven't seen it yet. But I wanted to let you know you had such a way of recreating that moment that I feel now as if I had... and I feel utterly unworthy of the gift Jesus gave us. Thanks for making me remember how precious and unbelieveable his love for us is.

August 24, 2004 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger J. said...

Hi Lisa, I found your blog through Debra's.

This is a very powerful writing. I am blessed for having visted your blog today. I, too, felt much the same reaction as you did about the movie. In fact, I closed my eyes through most of the bloody scenes in The Passion. An older couple who sat next to me got up and left. I was depressed (due to hormone issues) when I saw the movie and even listening to it was almost too much to bear for me. I cried through most of it.

I cannot even begin to imagine how it was that Jesus was able to bear it for me.

August 28, 2004 at 1:09 AM  

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