Wow. It's been 12 hours since I saw the film and I still feel like I've been hit by a brick, like I've run into a concrete wall. I'm still a little numb.
My wife Denise, my 18-year-old daughter Tiffanie, and I saw the 1:45 pm showing at the mall. We were far from being alone in the theater. But by the time the movie would end the three of us would feel very alone.
I've read reviews of "The Passion" from people all over the country. I've talked personally with people that have seen the movie. I know the story. I still was not prepared.
From the very first scene we were completely absorbed. There was very little movement, and only a couple of "Is that Peter, or John?" for the first few scenes. After that we were quiet.
For the next two hours no one got up to go to the bathroom. No one got a call on their cell phone. No one crunched on popcorn. We could barely breathe.
The stillness was broken about halfway through, at the point when Jesus was tortured by the Roman soldiers. Tiffanie pulled her knees up to her chest and you could hear her sniffing back tears. Denise was moaning, "No, please don't..." through her tears while she tightly squeezed my hand. I fought huge lumps in my throat. This continued practically the rest of the movie.
Jesus walking the Via Dolorosa seemed to last for hours. I could feel the weight of the cross. The cross was so heavy, and through once a living tree the cross now was so dead and cold and lifeless. I could feel a feeling of "get this thing off of me", but the road grew longer minute by minute.
I was there on The Hill. As the nails were driven I had this feeling of "Enough already!", "We've gone too far", "Can't anyone see what's going on here?
There were many people on The Hill, and yet that hill was so devoid of life. I could feel something sucking the humanity out of me. I didn't like it. I wanted to be somewhere else, but my eyes never left the screen.
Jesus was killed. Not by some cold-hearted religious leaders. Not by any Romans. I killed Him. And I did it in the most evil and most brutal way possible.
After two hours and six minutes the movie ended. The credits rolled on the screen. People began leaving the theater. And we left too. We exited the theater to a warm and sunny day. But the sun wasn't warm, and any brightness seemed dull. None of the three of us spoke the entire way home. We eventually continued our normal lives. Denise and Tiffanie started washing a load of clothes. I fed the dogs.
It was hours later that we began to talk about The Event, and then only very lightly. Neither of the three of us could get the scenes out of our minds. It was six hours after the movie before any real discussion took place.
This was not entertainment. This was neither "Star Wars" nor "Casablanca". This was not "Bible inspired" like Charleton Heston in "The Ten Commandments". It was not a documentary on The History Channel. It was as if an entirely new genre has been created. But it wasn't a movie either.
This was An Experience. I now have an insight as to what the Sermon on the Mount must have felt like. I have a glimpse as to what a Healing must have been like. I have a tiny idea what true love is. And yet I am incapable to comprehend it all.
This film was not anti-Semetic. It was anti-sin. It showed how Satan seems to win every battle - except the Final Battle.
I need to sit quietly for awhile. I have seen a bit of Heaven, and I am overwhelmed. And so very unworthy.