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
GIBSON, WHO DO YOU SERVE?
THE AUTHORITY OF THE WORD OR THE JEWS OF TODAY
Several questions arise concerning the furor over what is or is not going to be
included in Gibsons 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
actors movie? Doesnt 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 dont like the content
then dont 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?
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
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.
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; thats all.
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
12. And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not
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.
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.
So the questions remain...
Who killed Jesus? - The Jews did as
predetermined and planned by the Father.
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.
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
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
Rabbi Rudins 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
"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
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
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
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.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."
Nathanael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the August 18, 2003 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2003 Ether
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