The Good News in the Bible

Movies on the Life of Christ
William Diehl

I wonder if some who attempt to use the modern media such as film and TV to attempt to portray the man, Jesus, can really avoid making Him into a man made in their own image? The modern trend is to make Him altogether human and One altogether like unto ourselves with even our human character flaws and attitudes. It would in my opinion be very difficult to reveal the true Jesus of history. His disciples called Him Lord and Master. Yet He did indeed bless the little children. He rebuked the liberal Sadducees and the legalistic Pharisees and yet he loved them in spite of their hardness of heart and lack of humility and love. He blessed and healed the 10 lepers and yet He cursed the fig tree and warned the hardened sinner of the judgments and wrath of God to come. He urged compassion and tolerance towards one's enemies and yet He urged His followers not to cast their pearls before swine. He was the Son of God from all eternity and yet He was a carpenter's son from Galilee. How does one portray the Son of God who created the worlds and yet died for the sin of the world. Through whose eyes and imagination should the life and mission and character of the Son of God be interpreted and made into a image upon a movie screen? My eyes, your eyes, my neighbor's eyes?

Only the Holy Spirit can take the things of Christ and reveal them unto the world through the Spirit of truth, the word of God. It seems that it is one thing to write about Christ and His sinless life and atoning death upon the cross but quite another to portray Him in a portrait or a motion picture. Many have tried to do it, but from what I have seen so far all have come up far short of the Christ of the Bible. Perhaps the Spirit takes the Word and reveals Christ to the heart of each of us as individuals in a way that a picture cannot do. We all have differing needs and all have differing besetting sins and weakness which the Spirit of Christ can only succor through the invisible Christ working on our stubborn, sin hardened proud hearts. Can a film of the life of Christ do justice to the Christ of history. Should such an effort be made? I think not. Perhaps all would do well to heed God's command to Moses at the burning bush to take off the shoes from our feet for the ground upon which we tread is holy.

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