Date sent: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 13:15:09 -0800 (PST)

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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Roger: The Mel Gibson movie seems to have developed a big and enthusiastic following. Have you developed an opinion on it?

Toby: It is very well done. I think the subtitles add to it, sit back so you can see the whole screen; you only need to see a few of the words anyhow (you know what is being said) and it's better to hear the native languages.

it was very moving to me, remember i believe the story, believe he suffered that for me and all others; it was never gratuitous, the devil imagery was impressive (but not in the gospels) the snake bit was forshadowing, in Revelations it is said that Jesus will strike and slay satan by crushing his head.

this act (the giving up his life) is what sealed the devil's fate; now all are welcome to follow Jesus thru the gates.

The Jew's temple really did suffer a torn curtain and an earthquake hit the area.

the characterizations of the guards, pilot, pharisees, on lookers, etc. were excellent (the Judas story was artfully described, but of course his battles with the devils are not from the gospel; look for the imagery of the dead lamb with the rope.)

It isn't antisemetic, but the god-haters sure hate Mel and the movie.


Roger: Good! you have been moved, so I'm talking with someone who understands.

The reason I put it that way, is that the enthusiastic response to this movie makes it clear to me that I don't. From my perspective, I see a bunch of people who depend on a dieity's pain to be the bedrock for their faith. The words he spoke and the other kinds of lessons he gave are nice, but this horrible suffering is both necessary to the faith, and must be kept vivid.

The reason I find this strange is I've thought about it from the deity's perspective, and from that perspective (in my mind) this whole process looks quite different.

Here's my take...

Christ is an immortal, part of the three-that-are-one. The trio take care of the eon-to-eon (as versus day-to-day) affairs of running the universe. One eon God the Father says to Jesus The Son, "You know, you ought to experience mortal existence."

Jesus says back to God the Father, "OK."

God the Father waves his hand and opens a portal to mortal existence, and Jesus walks through.

In less than an eyeblink he is back. (remember, this is being conducted in eon time.)

God the Father asks, "How was it?"

Jesus replies, "Horrible."

God the Father nods knowingly, and the three that are one get back to the business of running the universe on an eon-to-eon basis.

My point being: from Jesus's perspective, thirty three years of mortal existence was going to cause more discomfort than twelve hours of even the most excruciating pain. For the "Jesus form" of immortality, there is no risk of death and no uncertainty about the future. The Passion, and the thirty three years preceeding it, are just something that must be endured, like passing a kidney stone. There is no risk of death (mean oblivion), and no uncertainty as to the outcome. For Jesus there wasn't even any humiliation involved because he answers to God the Father, not any collection of mortals. And, what can the devil tempt him with? Even more mortal existence? A nicer place than heaven? With Christ within hours of returning to heaven, and knowing it, what temptation could the devil offer?

Which leads me to asking: Where's the Passion? Why do people see this as a deity taking on suffering? I see a diety within hours, then minutes, then seconds of release... and he knows it!

So... I find it odd that the suffering aspect of Chirst is so important to so many people.

Just some thoughts,


Toby: excellent questions:

I am glad to resume the dialogue with you, God even more so is waiting patiently for you to return home. I will do my best with my abiities to respond to these questions.

more later



The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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