The Passion of the Christ ~ my stomach has never twisted in knots before a movie until last night. As we ate popcorn and laughed with friends before the film, I alternately stared at the blank movie screen wondering of horrors my eyes would see. The entire movie was tragically beautiful. While Jesus was talking to Pilate, I heard Him speak English once or twice; either that or my ears somehow understood English because I was not looking at the subtitles. I literally shook as the cruel soldiers chained Jesus to the scourging post. Once the whipping began, I was surprised that I could watch it, though I was clenching Johnny's hand. Yes, it was gruesome, but we were not overcome by the violent aspect. We were overcome by our emotional reaction, and I realized how little I love Jesus, how poorly I love Jesus. I could not believe how long they whipped Him. Too long. Too sadistic. I don't want to reveal many details for my family's sake who have not yet seen this movie. I was deeply moved as Jesus willingly climbed upon the cross. Then there was a shot of His bloody face, crying out to God, and I lost it - I cried openly which is uncharacteristic for me in public. It was as if I was truly seeing the face of Christ. I lost my breath when they flipped the cross over. During numerous scenes I was uncomfortable in my chair. I wanted to prostrate myself on the floor in reverence. Christ was marred and dripping with blood, yet beautiful and strong - the King. I did not and do not feel worthy. I found myself repenting of my strongest struggles - my sins, "Fear, pride, fear, pride, selfishness, neglect of my Lord, fear; Lord Jesus, please forgive me." I was not traumatized by the violence, but I was broken. While driving home, I cried out in anguish, "Lord Jesus, I do love you. Forgive me. Thank you for suffering for me and your children. Thank you and praise you."

These are my initial, flimsy, dramatic thoughts today. It is difficult to remark on the film. As many have said, the images do sit with me, and I find myself pondering the majestic agony of the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." ~ "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. "
(John 1:29; Isaiah 53:5)

{A footnote: Johnny and I analyze films, so we noticed a few flaws. I personally quickly dismiss these because Mel Gibson did an outstanding job, a courageous job, and I admire him and everyone who took part to create this glorious piece of art. It was a holy icon come to life, a moving series of classic paintings, and the Truth personified. We will see it again soon.}

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