As the credits rolled in Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, I could barely breathe. The final scene still replays in my mind:
Morning light pours into the tomb.
The empty grave clothes collapse in on themselves,
the outline of His profile.
Jesus slowly opens His eyes.
His body travels past the fixed lens of the camera.
First His shoulder,
then His arm,
and finally the outside of His hand
comes into view.
I can see through the jagged hole
where the nail had been
and glance His thigh.
And then awakened from some distant land—
I am overwhelmed by
painful impossible joy.
In the theater that night no one around me moved. No collecting of coats. No making for the exit. We savored that singular moment when mortality was swallowed by immortality.
The movie credits finished their roll and faded to black. The house lights came up. And the audience finally began to make its way to the exits.
But this time in my memory of that night, one thing changes.
The screen flickers back to life.
A robed figure steps into the foreground
Jesus looks straight into the camera and announces,
The story isn’t over!”
No quick goodbyes. This is the Director’s uncut version! This time the rest of the story won’t end up on the cutting room floor. Jesus spent 40 more days on the earth. He’s up to something.
I plan to stick around and find out what it is.
What about you?
Monday, April 9, 2012 (reprinted from April 2010)