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By: Nathanael

Several questions arise concerning the furor over what is or is not going to be included in Gibson’s upcoming movie. Why does anybody, Jew – Christian – Catholic – Muslim – pagan – atheist –etc., even care what supposedly happened almost two millennia ago to some nobody as chronicled in a book that is nothing more than collaborated fabrications from unsophisticated dolts?

Why do so many big-Whig politicos and others have any concern over this renegade actor’s movie? Doesn’t Mel Gibson have the right to unfettered artistic expression and freedom of speech? If it is OK for one person to immerse a crucifix in a vessel of urine as his artistic expression, (funded by public dollars?!), then why is it not OK for another artist to produce a textually accurate depiction of the Crucifixion of Jesus, all the while funding it with his own money? If you don’t like the content then don’t watch it.

Why all the upset over theological questions? No educated, erudite, modern from the 21st Century takes any of that God-talk seriously any more, right?

Many had hoped for Gibson's movie to be an exacting and accurate portrayal of the last week of Jesus’ life, but evidently that is not going to happen. An admission by the marketing director for the film is clear. 

Here is an excerpt from a recent article in Religion News Service on the "accommodations" recently made by Mel Gibson due to pressure from "Jewish Leaders".

Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson's Icon Productions Company, said Gibson has edited the film to show more "sympathetic" Jewish characters who were not calling for Jesus to be crucified. "We believe we have softened the story compared to the way the Gospel has told it," Lauer said in an interview. He pointed to Matthew 27:25, in which the Jewish mob calls for Jesus' blood "to be on us and on our children." "That's in the Gospel," he said. "It's not in our film."

The above-mentioned passage, Matthew 27:25, is not the only place that speaks undeniably to the bloodlust of the Jewish crowd that demanded the crucifixion of Jesus. The immediately preceding verses in Matthew are equally as telling about the state of mind of the Jewish leadership and the assembled crowd. Italics and bolding mine, all Scripture quotes are from the NASB.

Matthew 27
Jesus before Pilate
11.   Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."
12.  And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.
13.   Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?"
14.   And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed.
15.   Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the people any one prisoner whom they wanted.
16.   At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas.
17.   So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?"
18.   For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over.
19.   While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."
20.   But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.
21.   But the governor said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas."
22.   Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Crucify Him!"
23.   And he said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they kept shouting all the more, saying, "Crucify Him!"
24.   When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves."
25.   And all the people said, " His blood shall be on us and on our children!"
26.   Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

The parallel passages in the Gospels of Mark 15:1-15, Luke 23:1-25 and John 18:28 - 19:15 all tell the same story. So what had this nobody named Jesus done to deserve the rage of the Jews in Jerusalem? He had committed blasphemy by claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah (See Luke 22:66-71). His simple words had enraged the Jews to want to kill Him; that’s all.

Luke 22
Jesus before the Sanhedrin
66. When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying,
67.   "If You are the Christ, tell us." But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;
68.   and if I ask a question, you will not answer.
69.   "But from now on THE SON OF MAN WILL BE SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND of the power OF GOD."
70.   And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I Am."
71.   Then they said, "What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

Another excerpt from the Religion News Service article, this time from an adviser to the American Jewish Committee is worth considering in contrast to the actual words from the above passages.

Rabbi A. James Rudin, senior inter-religious affairs adviser for the American Jewish Committee, emerged from a Houston screening "troubled" by what he saw as the film's suggestion that Roman authorities were powerless to stop the murderous rage of Jewish leaders. "The emphasis should be more on what killed Jesus, not who killed him," said Rudin, also a columnist for Religion News Service. 

A clarification of this Rabbi's definition of the "what" that killed Jesus would certainly be helpful. Is he talking about nails in his feet and hands or would it be asphyxiation from the weight of his upper torso collapsing on his diaphragm and not being able to breath? The Apostle Peter speaking in Acts 2:22-24 might have something to say on this matter.

Acts 2
22.   "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--
23.   this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
24.  "But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 

So the questions remain... 

Who killed Jesus?    -    The Jews did as predetermined and planned by the Father.

What killed Jesus?    -    Nails through his hands and feet as demanded by the Jews were the

physical instruments involved in the killing of Jesus’ fleshly body. It was however, the desire of YHWH to redeem fallen sinful man, which was accomplished by Jesus when He gave up His Spirit for the redemption of His own. See John 19 immediately below.

 John 19
30.  Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, " It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.  

Through out the whole of the four Gospels, the claims of Jesus as the Son of God, Messiah are clear and undeniable. The below quotes from John and Luke are but a couple of the numerous examples.

John 5 (Before the Crucifixion)
37.   "And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.
38.   "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
39.   "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

Luke 24 (After the Resurrection)

44.   Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
45.   Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46.   and He said to them, " Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
47.   and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48.   "You are witnesses of these things.
49.   "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." 

Rabbi Rudin’s expressed concern is not alone in the Jewish community. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the renowned Simon Wiesenthal Center has chimed in with his/its take on the coming movie.

"While we fully understand that the crucifixion is central to the belief of more than a billion Christians and in no way want to censor or impede anyone's right to make a film about the Passion, it is clear that there is a problem," Hier said. "I feel that the only way to resolve it is for you to seek input and dialogue with Jewish leaders."

So Mel, it is OK for you to make the movie however you want so long as you make the changes advised by modern day Jews who no more believe Jesus is the Messiah any more than those who cried for His Crucifixion. Classic Double-Talk, spoken like a well-oiled politician.

Before the Crucifixion there was an unbelieving Jew in the New Testament named Saul. He was among others involved in the stoning murder of the martyr Stephen, see Acts 8:1-3. This Saul, who had studied under a man revered in non-Torah, Jewish texts named Gamaliel, becomes a Christian as described in Acts 9. This Saul, also known as the Apostle Paul, described himself in Philippians 3:4-7, as …"a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the Law, a Pharisee," had the following to say about his physical blood brethren and their ability to understand that Jesus was Messiah.

2 Corinthians 3
14.  But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
15.  But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
16.  But whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

True Christians, be they of Gentile (Arab, Slovak, Russian, Japanese, Navaho, whatever) or Jewish descent (Jesus, all the Apostles and all the initial, early Church members were Jews) do not wish physical harm or spiritual ill to any person. Anyone who seeks to or does harm to another without provocation or outside of self-defense has committed a physical crime and a traverse against God. The Crusades were a murderous error fomented by non-believers, as was the Inquisition and the Soviet and Nazi persecutions, just to name a few tragedies. To lay the blame of those actions at the foot of Christ and the true followers of the Prince of Peace is categorical error as well.

That however does not mean the Truth, as found in the Bible and expressly in the New Testament, is up for negotiation with anyone.

So Mr. Mel Gibson the question remains, "Who do you serve, the Authority of the Word or the opinions of Jews today?"

Consider what the Apostle Paul had to say about doctrinal purity and ultimate authority…

Colossians 2
8.  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
9.  For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
10.  and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Nathanael lives in Dallas, Texas where he is an engineer.  He is a life long registered Republican and self employed.  It would jeopardize his career if his real name was used, hence the pseudonym of Nathanael.  He is a new columnist for Ether Zone.

Nathanael can be reached at nathanael4551@yahoo.com

Published in the August 18, 2003 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2003 Ether Zone.

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