So, I hadn’t has a chance to watch the movie Son of God. Although, I had attempted to watch once before, shortly after it was released on DVD. My daughter had purchased a copy for me. I was so excited to watch it after all the great reviews from family and friends. The evening I sat down to watch it, I must have been really exhausted, because I fell asleep at the beginning of the movie. So, finding myself ill this weekend with cold and cough, stuffy nose, not being able to sleep soundly, instead of settling for feeling miserable, I decided to watch some of my old favorite movies. That’s what I did yesterday. Illness is the only thing that will compel me to watch television all day. Today, I decided to venture out of my bedroom to the den where my daughter was watching movies on Netflix. She had been wanting to watch Son of God also, so we sat and watched it together.
The movie, as we might expect, is not biblically accurate. Hollywood movies are about money, not message. Nevertheless, if anyone went looking for take aways from this film, they were there for the taking, pros and cons. Even coughing and sneezing, blowing my nose, trying to find a comfortable position, my mind nevertheless wandered to the things of God.
Jesus is Coming!
My first thought was on celebrity status. The bible records all the times that Jesus attracted the masses. People flocked to Him when they saw Him. It’s Jesus! Jesus is Coming! This was centuries before movies and Hollywood were even thought of and here was a man, the Son of God, that was attracting people by the thousands.
Mark 9:15 (KJV) “And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.”
Crowds by the thousands gathered to hear what He had to say.
John 6:2-3 “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.”
He met His critics. Dealt with His bad reviews. He drew crowds by the thousands, even fed them a couple of times. Those were huge luncheons with plenty of leftovers to take home. Jesus traveled with His hand selected entourage. He had His faithful followers. Some would defend Him, others guarded Him, a few even question some of his claims, but they hung close.
Centuries before Facebook and Twitter, advertising, electronic communication, the news of Jesus spread like wildfire, by word of mouth. As soon as people saw Jesus, they dropped whatever they were doing and ran to Him. He was the first man who could attract large crowds, and many followed Him.
That was the Jesus portrayed in the movie. I thought that was a good depiction of who most people believe Jesus was, and is. I thought the actor did a pretty good job in delivering His lines with some passion. As I said early, the movie was not 100% accurate, but it was good enough to move the seeking heart. It’s not to farfetched to believe that a movie can create a change of heart in anyone.
The other side of the coin, was what the world saw. The world saw all the hatred of the religious – for their own. The Jews did not recognize Him, because He did not look like them, or act like them. There walk and their talk did not align with the message of Jesus. Certainly, Jesus was more than able to go one on one with the scriptures, with any of the church leaders. It’s disheartening to acknowledge that today, we still place a higher emphasis on appearance than integrity, especially when it comes to church leaders. Our humanity, even though we proclaim godliness, is pure evil. We see it in the world today more pronounced because of technology. Jesus followers could do nothing to stop what was going to happen. Those present at the resurrection, that believed in Jesus, were powerless to do anything, because God had a plan. And His plans always supersede man’s plans. Even Pilate had no choice. Mat. 27 records it, “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” It’s a difficult truth to swallow, that we can make all our plans, but if God has a different plan, His will always prevail.
Since Hollywood began making biblically based movies, we’ve watched such movies for pure entertainment, but to those that believe, the story is much more. it’s eternal life for those that believe. This leads me to my last point about this movie.
When we go through various trials our first instinct is to turn to the world for solutions, for resolve. Jesus, too felt as if He had been abandoned by the Father, but He knew the end result. The world held no deliverance, not then, not now. That’s why He had to come. When we remember to pray, we pray with all the why’s. Why me, Lord? Why now? Why my ___? We forget that God has a plan, because at the moment, we are only thinking of the self. When people wrong us, we find it difficult to forgive. We find it much easier to get even, or to part ways. And that’s when we recite the scripture “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” We refuse to acknowledge that forgiveness comes before prayer.
Before Jesus was hung on the cross He was scourged beyond recognition and publicly ridiculed. All the depravity of man was unleashed on Him, at the request of close friends of His Father, no less. When Jesus hung on the cross barely able to open His eyes to see the ugliness below Him, He said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Man is still in the same place, without Christ. Man still lacks understanding when he rejects God. The veil needs to come down. However, for believers, when Jesus finally gave up His life, it was into His Father’s hands that He committed His Spirit. And those present beheld His power and glory. When we die to the flesh, when we surrender our life into the hands of our Heavenly Father, it’s then that we can behold His glory. Surrendering all, that’s not an easy thing to do either, but as believers and followers it should be a daily goal, that we may behold the awesomeness of God.
We live in a different world than the apostles, by the mission has not changed. What happens after we surrender to the Father does not change. Everything else, the Lord has a plan, and a purpose for every believer. And still we can say that we have many things in common. The hope of His salvation. His abundant grace. His new mercies every morning. Eternal life.
Rich Mullins said it well…
“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won’t also cost you yours.”
― Rich Mullins