In 2004, it was the movie everyone was talking about. Millions of people all over the world saw it. It was a gut wrenching, unsettling visual presentation of the final twelve hours of the life of Jesus.
Amazingly, the most powerful portrayal of the suffering of our Lord ever made is spoken in Aramaic and Latin with English subtitles, by mostly unknown actors and actresses and was rated “R” because of the graphic depiction of the brutality of the scourging and crucifixion of Christ.
Without question, it’s hard to watch. But everyone should see it. No one can watch The Passion of the Christ and not be passionate about it.
After seeing it, Billy Graham said, “Every time I preach or speak about the Cross, the things I saw on the screen will be on my heart and mind.” Dr. James Dobson said, “It is deeply moving, powerful and disturbing. A film that must be seen - although the graphic scenes of the scourging are emotionally wrenching.” Jerry Falwell Sr. said, “I am praying that movie will have a powerful impact on our culture and that it will appeal to millions of movie lovers who are starving for a glimmer of honesty regarding the miraculous and life-changing story of the One who died for everyone, no matter their religious heritage, station in life, sexual preference or skin color.”
“The only thing that will powerfully and permanently impact our culture and transform our world is when those of us who call ourselves Christians become passionate for Christ in every area of our lives.”
Rick Warren said the movie was “brilliant, biblical - a masterpiece.” Tim LaHaye said, “Everyone should see this movie. It could be Hollywood’s finest achievement to date.” Noted columnist, Cal Thomas, said, “As one who has seen virtually every modern biblical epic – I can say The Passion is the most beautiful, profound, accurate, disturbing, realistic and bloody depiction of this well-known story that has ever been filmed.”
Even movie critic, Michael Medved said, “The Passion represents by far the most moving, substantive and artistically successful adaptation of biblical material ever attempted by Hollywood. And it’s the kind of movie that’s going to touch people.”
Greg Laurie said, “I believe The Passion of the Christ may well be one of the most powerful evangelistic tools of the last 100 years, because you have never seen the story of Jesus portrayed this vividly before.” Lee Strobel said, “The Passion will stun audiences and create an incredible appetite for people to know more about Jesus. I urge Christians to invite their spiritually seeking friends to see this movie with them.”
As great a movie as The Passion is, and I’m passionate about it (I’ve seen it a number of times, including with our Connect Group), if we’re counting on a movie to impact our culture and transform our world, we’re going to be disappointed. No movie can do that. You would’ve thought Titanic would sink the cruise ship industry. Or that Jaws would’ve beached swimming in the ocean for everyone, forever. The fact is, the impact of those movies was short-lived and while most people have seen them both, their lives have not been altered or transformed by either one.
The only thing that will powerfully and permanently impact our culture and transform our world is when those of us who call ourselves Christians, who claim to follow Christ, become passionate for Christ in every area of our lives, every day of our lives. When we develop a passion for Christ that absolutely changes us, it will change others. By setting an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity, the impact will be huge.
When our passion for Christ is clearly seen in the way we conduct ourselves in our relationships with others, our business dealings, at restaurants, the grocery store, gas station, our bank, the post office, at school functions, driving in a manner that doesn’t contradict the fish sign on the back of our car, handling conflict and responding to difficult circumstances, in our untiring faithfulness to Christ and His Church … when the world sees that kind of passion for Christ they’ll want to know more … they’ll want to know Him.
Your friends, neighbors and co-workers may have seen the movie. That’s wonderful.
What’s better is when they see a genuine passion for Christ in YOU!
© 2021. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.