3 Ways RISEN Can Make You Spiritually Aware
By Joseph Pezzuto
“Where is the Nazarene?” “He is right here. Open your heart and see.” RISEN is an upcoming Bible drama film depicting the epic New Testament historical narrative about the first forty days after the resurrection of Jesus (Cliff Curtis), along with a Roman military tribune (Joseph Finnes) and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton), as they investigate into this miraculous event. Directed by Kevin Reynolds and looking to be released in theaters in February, 2016, there are at least three ways this biblical adaptation can make you spiritually aware:
It is not uncommon to consider that a slew of Hollywood films have emerged throughout the beginning of the twenty-first century regarding stories from the Bible. Past films have even told of many biblical accounts since the industry began. The life of Jesus has been done many times over, from Pasolini’s THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW in 1964 to THE JESUS FILM in 1979, which have led millions to Christ upon its first screening for many nations. Since the release of Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST one decade ago, a new wave in Christian filmmaking was unearthed as handfuls of screenwriters, producers and directors, Christian and non-Christian alike, have taken on the monumental tasks of taking these historical, God-inspired passages from the Scripture and bringing them to the big screen and the television screen. Even movies telling of the life of Jesus have been modernized into the society of today, as we must take into consideration that while watching RISEN to see it as not just another movie about a Bible story, but about one of the most famous and victorious ones at that but told from a different filmmaker’s viewpoint, as God has chosen them to see it to show to us. Though the story of Christ has indeed been told many times, yet the message is always fresh and new, as timeless as when Jesus actually spoke what was to occur of His own death and resurrection. They all contain the same powerful message of redemption, hope and mercy, and it is open for anyone whom is willing to accept this beautiful gift of which is open freely for all mankind because the wonderful blood of Christ.
2: GOD USES ANYONE FOR HIS GLORY
A lot of these films miss the mark many times at being historically and biblically correct or accurate. For example NOAH, directed by Darren Aronofsky, a Jew, had enjoyed the story since childhood and wanted to tell how he saw it one day through film. Though containing some flaws in all of its imperfections, the movie did go on to gross $362.6 million. God used this director, as I am certain He will continue to use other ones in the future, to allow the masses of the movie-going public even more opportunities of hearing the God’s Word written through cinema. Every biblically-themed motion picture, no matter what time the setting in Scripture on the screen, never fails in pointing its way to the promise of God in sending a lost world His Son, of Whom lived as He died. As we watch this and other films to come that fall into this genre, let them cause us as believers to observe ourselves in taking action in reaching out to those of whom are sitting next to us in the theater, being mindful and prayerful as they view with us that God loves them just as much as anyone else. He too wants them to one day seek Him, as He sent His Son to Earth to die for everyone in the world. Though Christ can work in anyone’s heart anywhere at any time, cinema is truly no exception. Are many still today as this Roman citizen, wondering “Who this Jesus really is?” Though film has its own power in speaking many volumes, there is one eternal power that will never fail in capturing a lost soul if and when one’s heart is right before Him of Whom He chooses specifically for the task in having His Son’s story told.
- THE PROMISE OF JESUS
Jesus told his disciples post resurrection that He would one day return to take us with Him into glory. Sadly many will not be able to partake in this due to their clinging to their old lives and refusing to accept the Almighty Name of Christ. After His resurrection, the Roman soldier in the movie was baffled to find the sealed stone of the tomb rolled away, revealing an empty grave. He too had a hole in his heart unbeknownst to himself, burning with questions that demanded his very sanity and, most importantly, his spirituality. Who really was this Jesus? Was He truly the One foretold from centuries past? Many of those who have seen movies similar to this, or perhaps are seeing it for the very first time, still afterwards walk away each with their own array of different questions that seem to burn in the back of their minds. Ultimately, it is our hearts that are longing… longing to be satiated for a holy substance that can only be fulfilled by knowing the Person of Jesus Christ. There could arise some questions regarding even those who never did really know Him, and thought that they could just pass as being a good enough person in order to get into heaven. Perhaps, even for some Christians, it could be doubt or guilt about their relationship with the Lord in which has stagnated over time, being nothing more than asking Someone above to bless the said meal at hand. Unlike these and many other issues at stake, Jesus promises to take in whoever will come to Him as they are, to abstain from their old way of living and embrace the new life in which Christ promises with utter and reckless abandon. Though we will never understand Christ fully with our finite minds, we can firmly believe that He truly is Who He says He is. Death is a slave to Christ, for He had conquered it. We no longer have to carry our sins, because Christ has taken them upon Himself in full and ultimate obedience towards His Father. Jesus Christ today is ruling, reigning and someday returning. He…is risen!
As the release of RISEN comes closer, consider how your faith and your relationship with God might be strengthened, and if this resonates with you, consider supporting RISEN in theaters in February, 2016.
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