Reflections on the Risen Movie

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Reflections on the Risen Movie

Last week I saw Risen. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a movie about the resurrection of Jesus told from a unique perspective, that of an unbelieving Roman military tribune. As the trailer says, it’s the most important event in human history seen through the eyes of a non-believer. This unique take may help some people to look at it through fresh eyes of their own. I myself would say that this perspective was interesting and thought provoking.  It’s a good movie and I enjoyed it. I do encourage you to see it and to think about inviting a friend.

CSI: Jerusalem

You could also say that it’s the resurrection story told as a detective story, something that’s quite popular today. The events portrayed from the Roman perspective make sense. Jealous of Jesus, the Jewish leadership pushes the Roman governor to put him to death, claiming he is a revolutionary that’s a threat to Caesar. His body is placed in a tomb and put under Roman guard. But then three days later the body is gone and people are starting to say that he’s risen from the dead. For both the Jewish and Roman leaders this is worse than when Jesus was alive. Both wanted to put an end to this right away.

The Jewish leaders make up the story that the disciples came in the night and stole the body while the Roman guards were sleeping. Not a likely story as Roman guards who slept on duty could be put to death. But what happened to the body? If they could just produce the body of Jesus that could put an end to it all. And so Roman Tribune Clavius, portrayed by Joseph Fiennes, is tasked with investigating what happened to Jesus’ body.  Assisted by his aide Lucius (Tom Felton from the Harry Potter movies), Clavius searches the tomb for clues and questions witnesses and the guards in an all out search for the body.

Coming to Grips with the Evidence

Through his investigation, this unbelieving Roman must try to make sense of what he’s uncovered. He has to try to reconcile what he’s seen and heard with what he has believed to be true about life and the world. This movie is good in that it reminds or makes people aware that Christianity isn’t about some rules that we’re supposed to follow. It isn’t about nice sayings and stories that have an inspiring meaning but that really couldn’t have happened. Rather it’s based on a historical event that can be and was investigated.

An open-minded  investigation of the historical evidence of the resurrection of Jesus forces an intellectually honest person to come to grips with the evidence. In his love for us in his amazing plan to save us, I believe that it was God’s intention to to cause all of us to do what Clavius has to do, to reconcile the risen Jesus with what we believe to be true about life and the world. It’s easy to blow off a storybook Jesus if you want, but what do you do with a man who died on a cross and really rose again from the dead? That’s not someone you can just blow off. You must make a choice about him. You must either accept him or reject him.

Thankfully this one we must come to grips with loves us more than anyone else and only wants the best for us. Yes, he forces us to make a decision about him but it’s only because he loves us and longs for us to come to know and love him as he knows and loves us.

Some Concluding Thoughts

If you have haven’t yet come to grips with who Jesus is, know that I’m praying for you. I pray that you will investigate this for yourself. Open a Bible. Read the New Testament and see Jesus for who he is.  See what he does and says and see what he does for you in dying on the cross. Then investigate the resurrection and see what you think of the historical evidence. I would be happy to hear what you think.

And then for those of us who know Jesus and wish to share him with others, if coming to grips with the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus was so key to God’s plan for the spread of Christianity, why is it that often today it seems to be an afterthought at best? Yes it’s important to share our stories about how Jesus has changed out lives but let’s also be sure to gently and respectfully help them to confront the evidence of the one who “was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord“.(Romans 1:4).





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Posted on by Reasons for Hope 315 in Evidence for the Resurrection

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