Why no classic movie about Jesus?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Have you ever noticed how the movie The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston playing Moses is on TV every year during Easter?

On most holidays, especially those centered around religion, there is the obligatory showing of certain classic movies, which is all fine and good. In fact, The Ten Commandments being shown at Easter makes perfect sense, since the holiday coincides with the Jewish Passover, which celebrates the Israelites’ escape from Egypt as chronicled in the book of Exodus. But, what about a movie for the millions who celebrate Easter as the most sacred of Christian holidays – the day Jesus Christ defeated death and rose from the grave? Where is that movie?

I was talking this over with a friend over the weekend, and we couldn’t come up with a good, solid movie about Jesus that would really be an appropriate Christian equivalent of the The Ten Commandments.

The only movie that really comes to mind is The Passion of the Christ, which hit theaters in 2004. And while that movie may be the closest thing we have to an official “Easter-time movie,” I personally think it falls a bit short of the mark. I don’t have any philosophical or religious beef with the movie – it’s just hard to watch something that graphically tells the story of the gruesome death of the object of your worship and then barely touches on the resurrection – which is the entire point when it comes down to it.

I haven’t yet had the chance to watch the newly released Son of God, but I have high hopes it spends more time on the life and resurrection of Christ, rather than just focusing on his death.

Don’t get me wrong, I know how incredibly important Christ’s death on the cross was, and I’m very thankful He loved us enough to go through an ordeal He certainly didn’t deserve, simply because each of us certainly did. But, had the resurrection not happened, his death would have simply been the passing of one more of history’s great men. And on that note, what about his life? Even if you don’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, I think most people would concede he was probably the most influential person to ever live. Why not make a movie that focuses on the amazing things he accomplished during his short, three-year ministry?

There is no shortage of documentaries and other films that focus on Christ, but I can’t think of single “classic” that tells His story the way The Ten Commandments tells the story of the Israelites. Maybe Son of God will be that movie, or maybe there is one I’m not aware of. It would be nice to see a movie about the man many of consider our savior that gives us a chance to reflect on the immense good He did and the miraculous way He rose from the dead, rather than just His horrific death on the cross.