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February 26, 2016


I completely agree with all of this review, especially the comments about the intelligence of Clavius, his thorough investigation, the rational conclusion to which the movie comes -- Jesus has indeed risen from being really dead, really buried, thoroughly secured inside the tomb, etc. The Gospel is not clearly stated in the movie. I just want to cut them only a bit of slack, however. Keep in mind that the entirety of the action in the movie takes place between Good Friday and the day the Disciples/Apostles head back to Jerusalem. In other words, the Holy Spirit has not come at Pentecost yet. Perhaps, maybe, could it be that the fulness of the import of the substitutionary atonement, the scope of the Gospel, our depravity, all of Scripture in the OT being about Jesus and God's plan to redeem humanity and restore the cosmos, had not yet fully dawned on them? No Paul to explain it in Romans or Ephesians, no Galatians, etc. It is a huge omission, but could there be a reason for it? Probably not, but it's worth considering. I did like the movie also. For me it was more than a little violent, though.

Looks interesting -- thanks for the post Melinda.

This reads more like a description of an historical movie than a Christian movie. Since it deals with facts and reality from the perspective of a Roman pluralist, one should not expect to hear the Gospel.

I loved it and thought it did an excellent job. I even think it got a lot of this history correct, which was very nice to see.

I also had a few issues with the film, but they were very minor. I think there is enough good here that it (1) out weighs any bad, and (2) is an excellent vehicle to foster dialog about any shortcomings it might have.

Compared to other "Christian" films put out by either Hollywood or Christian film companies, I thought this is miles ahead of where we have been in the recent years (save for films like The Passion), particularly in the realm of the technical aspects and telling a good, compelling story (the fictionalized story telling of this film didn't feel forced or ad hoc - it felt rather plausible and reasonable).

I am very pleased with this film and I hope to see it again in the theater (after all, Hollywood pays attention to box office receipts, not my gushing over it on social media). I've also pre-ordered it on iTunes so I can own it whenever it is released.

Thanks for you review, Melinda!

Jonathan, historically, Jesus and His disciples said quite a few things about repentance and forgiveness of sins, so it would have made sense to have them do so in the movie. Regardless, I really liked it. It was interesting to see all that was happening—the story we all know so well—from a perspective outside the circle of Jesus' followers.

You're right that Jesus' main purpose was to give us forgiveness for our sins so that we could make it back to God, but I think part of doing that does include loving eachother. He came to forgive but he also taught that in order to receive forgiveness, we must turn from our sinful lives. We have to die to ourselves the way he died on the cross. Then, just as he rose again, we have to be born again into a new life of love for God and for eachother. So in a way, Jesus' message was about loving eachother. It's a necessary part of being a follower of his. I think that's why love was the main theme of the movie. I'd like to discuss this thought further if anyone is interested. Feel free to email me. I thought the movie was great btw. My email is [email protected]

As Amy said above. Could have more of a Gospel meassage. Didn't care for it as much as others. Really disappointed when the Leper got healed. No emotion, no jumping up or down, just a weird look on the ex Lepers face as he walked a way. Strange.

There were some awkward moments in the movie, but it was a far better than most Christian movies. As for not having the gospel, I've heard Greg talk before about how our goal in every conversation doesn't need to be to get to the gospel. Sometimes it's appropriate to just want to plant a stone in their shoe. This movie can serve that purpose well.

Christians need to be vocal in their support of a movie like this that raises the bar in terms of quality (compared to the majority of Christian movies) and more vocal in their disapproval of Christian movies with bad acting, bad story telling, and cheesy stories. Hollywood manages to achieve its level of quality in terms of storytelling and acting by being brutally honest when an actor or a director sucks. Maybe Christians could benefit from some of that honesty in telling a person that they just can't act or the storytelling is bad.

I just got back from watching it. I liked it, too. I had the same complaint as Melinda. I kind of wish they had included the gospel are little more clearly. I appreciate the emphasis on love, but like Melinda said, that wasn't the whole story or even the main story of Jesus' teaching and purpose.

I realize that to tell a story like this, you have to take some artistic license, but there were still a couple of historical things that bothered me. First, the disciples didn't start proclaiming the resurrection until after the ascension 40 days later. Second, I don't think a bunch of Jews, even followers of Jesus, would've so easily welcomed a gentile into their inner circle and ate with him. It wasn't until Peter's vision and subsequent encounter with Cornelius that it became obvious that gentile were supposed to be included and welcome into the church. And even after that happened, we know that Peter was not entirely comfortable eating with gentiles, as we know from Paul. Also, I suspect Peter was probably much younger than the movie portrayed him as being. Also, since they were in Jerusalem on a major pilgramage festival, I suspect at least some of their wives would've been with them. Also, John was entrusted with Jesus' mother, Mary, but the movie makes it look like he just abandoned her and hung out exclusively with the other disciples. And where were all the other women who visited the tomb? Mary Magdalene was the only one to make the cut. And the spoke of her as if "Magdalene" was her last name rather than where she was from--Magdala. Also, Clavius asked at what point what the Nazarene's name was, but surely he would've known what his name was since it was written on the sign on the cross in three different languages. Maybe he just forgot or didn't bother to read it.

But I'm knit picking, I'm sure. I really liked the movie, though. I was thankful they finally picked a person to play Jesus who actually looked like somebody from Judea. Of course they had the Romans speaking with English accents as they always do in movies.

Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of Christ, left out the crucial element of the Resurrection. The movie Risen took care of that. Now we need a third movie to proclaim the biblical gospel of Christ. But then again we can't expect Hollywood to do our evangelizing for us, let alone expect them to get it right.


Check out the last fifteen seconds of Mel Gibson's movie. There is a resurrection, a resplendent Jesus rising up in a background of black, allowing a stream of light through His pierced hand before fading to white.

It's not much of a scene after two hours of torture and agony, but it's much more than what Jesus Christ, Superstar offered.

It's not the nature of a "passion" to enter into the events of Easter. This is a separate entity altogether. The passion only presents the tremendous sacrifice of the Savior. It merely whispers that what came to life on Resurrection Day was truly dead, entombed, to all appearances hopeless.

Then hope bursts forth. Go figure.

Here is my review of the movie from my FB page:

I know I have several FB friends out there that expect to see movie reviews from me when Hollywood puts out another "Christian" movie, so tonight I went to see the latest offering: "Risen".

One of the current fads is to tell familiar stories from the point of view of the villain (Wicked and Maleficent both quickly come to mind) and so it is with Risen. In this case, the events surrounding Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the days immediately after are seen through the eyes of Clavius, a Roman Tribune who is Pontius Pilate's right hand man. Clavius, after a particularly tough day, arrives on the scene of the Crucifixion just after Christ dies and verifies that he is dead. He receives the order from Pilate to let Joseph of Arimathea take the body, but he accompanies Joseph and Nicademus to the tomb and helps roll the stone in front of opening. The next day, due to the instance of the Sanhedrin, he seals the tomb with his signet ring and posts guards after verifying that the body is still there. The next day, he is summoned by Pilate because the body is gone. Clavius is put in charge of the manhunt to find the disciples of Christ and retrieve the body. I don't feel like any of this deserves a spoiler alert because every believer who reads this had already figured out this part of the plot and to every non-believer, here's the Gospel in a nutshell: Jesus predicted his death, said he'd rise again on the 3rd day, was crucified, died and was buried. On the 3rd day, he rose again and was seen by dozens of people over the 40 days. He's alive!

Back to the movie...It is only a slight spoiler to say that Clavius encounters the risen Yeshua and then deals with this issue: "I have seen two things which cannot reconcile: A man dead without question, and that same man alive again." The rest of the movie deals with the resolution of this conflict and is handled very well.

The Good: The story acknowledges Scripture and is told in a manner that is a believable take on what the Romans had to deal with in all the matters concerning the Nazarene. The disciples are represented with respect and realism. I found myself believing that things could have really happened this way.

The Bad: Once Clavius announces that he will "pursue Him, the Nazarene, to ferret the truth", the movie adds Clavius' presence to scenes we see in the Gospels that we've never imagined a Roman soldier in before. It took a little effort for me to suspend my disbelief, but it did bring a fresh perspective to familiar history without denying the truth of that history.

The Funny: There is a scene that made me flashback to Dwarves riding barrels down a river and another that seemed an obvious homage to "The Shawshank Redemption". Both made me smile.

The Yucky: I am so glad that "Smell-O-Vision" never became a real thing. "The Passion of the Christ" showed exactly how brutal and painful flogging and crucifixion were and "Risen" goes to great length to verbally describe the stench and the decaying process of corpses. It doesn't take much imagination anymore to get a sense of what it was like to be in Jerusalem those days.

I'm going to give "Risen" an A-. The first two acts are outstanding. The film was well produced, realistic and was faithful to Scripture. During the 3rd act, I found myself wondering if this is how I would have written it. They needed a plot device to bring the movie to a conclusion and even now, I don't know if I could have made a better recommendation.

Go see "Risen". This one is worth the money.

There is no omission. The telling of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus The Christ is the Gospel. Attaching soteriology to the gospel is the work of The Holy Spirit that convicts of sin and the need for The Savior.

I was curious why they left out that the spear resulted in a flow of blood and water. As J Warner and others have explained, this is a very important fact which was a source of confusion until modern medicine showed it to be a real thing.

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