This Wednesday, the eve before Holy Thursday, our high school Youth Ministry will be showing “The Passion of the Christ.” At first, we were hesitant to show this movie, as it is rated “R” and extremely graphic (due to the realistic depiction of the Crucifixion). We were worried our students would be overwhelmed, or worse, not fully appreciate the context of the film. However, after much prayer and discussion, we concluded that this was the perfect movie to show (as long as those under 17 have permission from their parents).
Too often, we underestimate just what our Lord endured, for our sake. We meditate on a crucifix, where the body of Jesus is practically glorified. We are immersed in a culture in which the cross has become a trite symbol. As such, we forget the scandal of seeing our Lord, our Savior, the Son of God, torn to pieces, nailed on a cross, and left to die. “The Passion of the Christ” does not allow us to avoid that scandal, as we watch a man we love so deeply be tormented. It is almost impossible not to ask oneself, “He did that for me?” And with the viewing comes a sort of a responsibility, a call to action, to acknowledge the sacrifice that Christ made for us. It is our hope that this movie will help each of our students to understand that the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus is the purest form of love they will ever come to know.