Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"The Passion of the Christ" and Further Commentary

Surprisingly the movie did not capture the full horror of Roman crucifixion.  The movie was faithful to the Gospel accounts in showing the Roman soldiers’ going to break the legs of the three people on the crosses, but it gave no indication of why crucified people sometimes had their legs broken.  The bodies of those who were nailed to a cross were positioned such that it was necessary for them to push themselves up in order to breathe; when one’s legs are broken it is impossible to rise, meaning that death by asphyxiation will ensue.  So just imagine that someone has just nailed your feet to a cross after the flesh on your back has already been torn apart by a Roman flagrum or scorpion.  Under conditions such as those survival only becomes all the more painful, to say the least.


Finally, it is sad what happened with Judas Iscariot who hanged himself and forgot the identity of the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Judas was remorseful over his act of betrayal, but while Acts 10.43 speaks of forgiveness of sins it does not say “Kill yourself and all is forgiven.”  Forgiveness of sins comes to those who look to Christ, not to those who trust in their own acts of self-vengeance (remember Romans 12.19-20?) or their own acts of quasi-flagellation, as if such things equaled the severity or gravity of transgressions of God’s law.

Likewise, let no one trust in any prayer of his to God, let no one trust in any decision of his to do right, and let no one trust in any decision of his to be a servant or student of Christ.  No, each of these things is a placebo as far as the disease of sin is concerned.  Instead, it behooves everyone to do what naturally comes from a repentant heart and the convictions that God is merciful, that Christ is able to save, and that Christ saves those who trust in him, based on the knowledge and understanding of the gospel of Christ.

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