Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am moved

It's that time of year when the movie "The Passion of the Christ" pops up everywhere. It's because it is this time of year that we celebrate and remember the death and resurrection of our Lord. And what I've come to discover about myself is that I don't want to see the movie again. I have seen it twice and I think the movie does some great things- it draws attention to Christ and it shares the message of His death- both of which I think are awesome. But there are a couple of reasons I think that for me, that will be the extent of my viewing.

First, so many times the more we see something the more we become desensitized by it. I don't ever want the death of Christ to become common place for me- something I've seen so many times that is no longer impacts me. Watching it, I am moved and impacted and I don't want that to change, but I think the bigger problem within that issue, for me, is the reason for its impact. The thing is, The Passion of the Christ is a movie. Yes, it is true, but so are many movies. Movies are designed to move us- and it doesn't take much to move me. I often find myself moved to tears as I watch movies. Movies about people who don't exist facing problems that are not real- and yet I am moved. Actors strive to portray a character in such a way that the audience is moved. The movie is set to a score which reaches its climax and swells, creating emotion. There are make-up and special effects, all designed to touch the audience. The Passion of the Christ is no exception to these movie rules. There is incredible acting, directing, a beautiful score and there is make up and special effects showing the brutality of His death. And while I don't think these are bad things (actually I think they are great things... too many times "Christian" movies lack excellence in these areas.), I don't want them to be the motivation for my emotion. I don't want to be moved by the brutality I see on the screen (although I know His death was brutal). I don't want to be moved by the incredible actor whose performance touches me. I don't want to be moved as the music swells to a climax.

In my life, I want the death of Christ to move me, to impact me, to change me. But not because of a movie I watched. I want to be moved by His death because it is substitutionary, because it is redemptive, because it is healing, because it is grace and mercy, because it was not the end and three days later He rose! The thing is, the death of Jesus doesn't need great actors, make-up, special effects or a great score.

It is a beautiful, perfect, complete, once for all love story that forever changed everything!

It should move us all by itself. It should move us to great sorrow over our sin that nailed Him there. It should move us to great gratitude for He took our place though we were unworthy. It should move us to great emotion for it is a love like no other. It should move us to worship for the God who hung on a cross, also defeated death. It should move us to live lives of abandon for the glory of the One who gave it all. 

I want the words of God to move me more than a movie. I want the breath of God to change me, push me, move me, touch me.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
    and by his wounds we are healed" Isaiah 53:5

He was pierced for me, He was crushed for my sin, He bore my punishment to bring me peace. And by His wounds I am healed!! And because of this, I am moved. 

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