Tuesday, March 29, 2016


I am still pondering the movie, ‘Risen’ after having seeing it on Sunday afternoon. Christians might come to this movie from a different perspective than someone from a different religion. When speaking with a person yesterday who is not particularly interested in a faith discussion, I was not surprised to hear that she was very impressed with the Roman tribune - even though the main character in the old story in which the plot is historically planted is Jesus.  Was this in the writer’s mind when writing the script?  Was it a way to invite the viewer into the gentleness and loving touch of the Jesus of their life? 

Hollywood is sometimes hard to figure out. What is the risk and what is at stake in this plot if the tribune is the protagonist? And is Jesus written in as a secondary character to hold the pieces together? 

How does one who knows the old story from a particular perspective and looks for certain parts of the story to shine, swallow Hollywood’s portrayal of Mary Magdalene or Mary, mother of Jesus, or the rest of the disciples for that matter. I’m not sure I liked the movie, but I am sure that there are probably many like the tribune, who find themselves on the outside, looking into a mystery that words cannot explain. 

When I see a Hollywood-take on a Biblical story, I find myself thankful for my
Sunday school experience as a child when I first learned the story and through the years as the people of the Bible have become brothers and sisters.

For whatever reason the tribune was introduced as he was, he certainly played the part well of a heart that was softened when he saw the resurrected Christ sitting with his disciples at the table . . . while he leaned against the wall. And when he took off his ring that identified his previous loyalty, he opened his heart to that which wasn’t quite as evident – yet. I would like to follow that story of the tribune. He was a good example of most of our stories. 




Glynis said...

Oooh. You have piqued my interest. I haven't seen this movie but I am always intrigued by the way Hollywood interprets the Biblical message. Is softening the heart the first step to a curiosity for Christ? I wonder that often. No one is bullied into believing. Grace is a random act of kindness bestowed upon us by God, but I believe we sometimes need to be brought to the brink to notice. I am looking this movie up. Thanks friend!

Ruth Smith Meyer said...

I have heard of enough people who were brought to seek further into who Jesus is by such stories, that I find it difficult to be to hard on them. Perhaps if we pray that those who see the movie will be moved in their hearts, there could be a harvest of true believers!

Peter Black said...

I haven't seen it, but I'm grateful for your reflections, Donna. I remember hearing, more than fifty years ago, of a man who came to know Christ personally through hearing one statement in a completely secular film that God used to speak powerfully to his heart. A line in it went something like this: "Don't you know that my son gave his life for you!" (Interrogatively, with exclamatory force.) My guess is that the fellow had some background or residual biblical knowledge through which the Holy Spirit graciously quickened that statement to his spiritual need. ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

What is still going around in my head is that when Jesus noticed a stranger in his midst, he didn't ask him to do a three point prayer, confess his sins, join a confirmation class or join a church committee - he smiled, acknowledged the tribune and welcomed him to the group to walk and eat and maybe serve (if the story had gone a few more scenes, we might have seen that). Even though the tribune distanced himself somewhat, as he was growing in his belief it seemed to me that Jesus and the disciples welcomed him into their midst without question and pressed on as usual.

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