Jesus is coming to a big screen near you

Published 12:00am Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ten years after The Passion of the Christ, Jesus is coming to the big screen again in the movie  Son of God, which opens in theaters nationwide on Feb. 28.

According to the movie’s website, “Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.” The 2-hour and 18-minute movie is rated PG-13.

During interviews with the news media, the movie’s producers, Mark Burnett and his wife Roma Downey, have noted the various denominations and religious leaders who have seen previews of the movie and who have endorsed it. Pastor/author Rick Warren has commented,

“This is a rare opportunity to bring the story of Christ into our mainstream culture.”

Downey, an Emmy-award winning actress best known for her role in the show, Touched by an Angel, portrays Jesus’ mother, Mary, at the foot of the Cross. Son of God is told through the eyes of John, the only disciple who did not die a martyr’s death. John survived intense torture and was then exiled to the Isle of Patmos. The words he wrote are quoted in the movie, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Burnett told the Hollywood Reporter, “This movie is designed to be seen in communities. Therefore, it’s the perfect venue (theaters) for church groups to band together and watch Son of God as a community.” Downey has said, “Now people can bring their family, friends and neighbors to experience together the incredible story of Jesus. We pray this film will really spread the word about Jesus’ love and sacrifice for all of us.”

“A story larger than life needs to be experienced larger than life,” Burnett speaks of the “big screen.” He points out that it’s the first time in 50 years that a major Hollywood studio has brought Jesus’ teaching and ministry to the big screen. Mel Gibson financed The Passion of the Christ himself, whereas 20th Century Fox is the studio that filmed Son of God.

Downey describes the movie as “the greatest love story ever told.” The husband- and- wife team have said, “Our hope is that the story and message of Jesus Christ will reach tens of millions of people nationwide.” Do you believe Jesus was the Son of God?

C.S. Lewis, a former atheist who became a Christian and defender of the Gospel, once wrote, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”

Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at jwhite@andycable.com.

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