Saturday, March 01, 2014

Son of God--the Movie

I took my parents to see the movie Son of God yesterday afternoon.

This won't be a review. Just some impressions.

First, I went in knowing the movie was about 2-1/4 hours long. I thought of the end of the Gospel of John:
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written." (John 21:25)
So, I knew a lot had to be left out. They did a good job with what was covered both in accuracy and weaving the important themes into the movie.

Making Jesus more open and friendly gave a different view of Him. Maybe stressed His humanity more. Though, the Jesus of the New Testament seems to startle and astound people more than make them feel welcome.

The judgment and crucifixion were very moving. More personally stirring for me than in The Passion of the Christ. I found myself confessing to Jesus how thankful I am that He loved me enough to suffer so greatly and die to save me from my sins.

The movie also was very good at making the other characters besides Jesus come alive--even in vignette like with the calling of Matthew. There was something in the presentation that made you want to know more about Pilate, his wife, even Caiaphas--not to mention Peter.

There were some flaws that might have been hard to work around on location. In the New Testament Jesus' tomb was in a "garden"--Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener when she first saw Him. But, in the movie, the tomb was in a rocky, desolate area. Also, in the movie Mary comes to the tomb when the sun is well up instead of early in the morning while it was still dark. (John 20:1-18) But, this was probably due to conflating the two scenes of arriving at the empty tomb and later seeing Jesus at the tomb.

Other small problems seemed to be in trying to make the scene flow better. For example, in raising Lazarus Jesus goes into the tomb and kisses Lazarus (who is not wrapped in burial cloths but dressed in a white robe) rather than calling Lazarus forth and asking those around Lazarus to unbind him. (John 28:38-44)

I'm glad I went. I'm glad they made the movie. I think of Max McLean's call for those who will artistically engage modern man "with imaginative storytelling about Christian truth that delights, entertains and challenges them to think deeply about faith in Christ."

There is an imaginative part in us that is moved and inspired by great issues and great truths. We grow bigger than our physical capabilities and surroundings. Maybe that's a part of being made in the image of God. The Son of God has some of those inspiring elements in it.


MAX Redline said...

I could be wrong, but I'd swear I saw this film over a two-night period a couple of months ago on The History Channel. The guy playing Jesus looks like the same one, and as you described, they had his tomb in a rocky place, and Jesus entering the tomb of Lazarus and kissing him.

It was a good film.

T. D. said...

You're right, Max. They did a TV series on the Bible that included a lot of this material. LA Times says:

"Adapted for the big screen from the History Channel miniseries "The Bible," the new film "Son of God" is essentially a feature-length recut of the second half of the series, based on the New Testament."

I didn't get to see the TV series.

MAX Redline said...

It was just a two-parter; half one night,the other half the next. I just happened to stumble across it somehow. The first half has the birth and childhood and early days of Jesus.

History Channel has some pretty good stuff, on occasion - though I was a bit surprised that the hard Left didn't kick up a big tantrum about airing this particular film. Perhaps they didn't find out about it until too late.

T. D. said...

Max, interesting that the movie is released by a major movie studio, though it is 20th Century Fox.

The weekend box office stats have "Son of God" second to "Non-Stop", both in their opening weekend.

1. Non-Stop - $28,875,635
2. Son of God - $25,601,865
3. The Lego Movie - $20,828,356
4. 3 Days to Kill - $4,950,813

MAX Redline said...

Pretty darned good showing, I'd say, TD!

T. D. said...

Especially since, as you point out, most of it was already seen on cable last year.