The Passion of the Christ (reposted)

Dandelion Salad

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Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter.

In The Passion: Photography from the Movie “The Passion of the Christ,” Gibson says “This is a movie about love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. Jesus died for all mankind, suffered for all of us. It’s time to get back to that basic message. The world has gone nuts. We could all use a little more love, faith, hope, and forgiveness.”

He also explains one of his appearances in the film, the close-up of his hands nailing Jesus to the cross: “It was me that put Him on the cross. It was my sins that put Jesus there.”

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2Corinthians 5:17)


What Jesus Said About Resurrection (reposted)

Art Katz: And They Crucified Him (repost)

N. T. Wright: Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead? (2007)

33 thoughts on “The Passion of the Christ (reposted)

  1. David [continued from below] … governmental oppression with this wrong take on divinity . This as we know culminated in the Roman Empire with its Pantheon of 30, 000 gods . When this full blown power reached critical mass as st. Paul said ”in the fullness of time God sent forth his Son …”

    so there we are –from the Stone Age to the present Roman Empire and there hangs this ”thing ”on a cross that used to look like a man . He was Jewish peasant . He preached an inward Kingdom , and he said it was upon them . Everything about him was the opposite of anything the world has ever seen . he breathed his last and and in the way in which he dies a centurion below him that crucifies men daily says ”Truly THIS was the SON OF GOD ” . right there that solder committed treason and verbally defined the re-definition of Divinity that the world had gotten wrong since the Magio-relgious behavior of the Paleolithic times until present . the shift was made.

    Since all religious traditions at the time deemed that any death on a cross in ignominity was ”outside the divine order ”, this event shattered the projection of the divine that had oppressed men for hundreds of thousands of years. The proclamation of the cross corrects the collective cult of self and its destructive delusion , and brings real authentic divine love into the time-space world , and does what an esoteric ethcos cannot .

    a but there is a problem here . it is 2 fold —
    1. Those who continue in the Imperial mindset seek to twist it and use it for their own power over others . these are the religious fundamentalists thru history and yes , many now in the American Empire .

    2. the second problem is the reaction to these abusers. they are the new agers who hold on to some watered down esoteric ethos , point the finger at the abusers , and avoid the cross . hence , they seek to circumvent the re-definition of divinity that came in humility to be sacrificed on the cross because of God’s infinite love .

    top both groups i say –ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ! to the first group i have not ceased over the years to confront them to their face and say ”cease and desist” misrepresenting the Lord of Glory .

    to the new agers that keep denying and avoiding the cross i say — it is time to believe . it is time to stop blaming the abusers , and buck up to this new definition . Ethics has not the power to save anyone . Morality is a game made up in ones head . this death and resurrection of the The Christ is THE answer to all the world needs .

    religion is over . faith in Christ is reality . Believe.

    • Rocket, thanks; I agree most specifically about breaking what John Lamb Lash (an enthusiastic advocate of “planetary tantra”) calls the cycle of the “victim-perpetrator.”

      My reading and understanding of the cosmic solar cross, is that it is the supreme universal gesture of (voluntary!) self-sacrifice that transforms the individual into a spiritual Adept who formally devotes their life to the betterment of humanity by the conscious exercise of free will, the will to improve ~ so it is indeed a “gnostic” initiatory symbol insofar as it represents the aspirational rite to invoke the ceremonial death and rebirth of the Sun, corresponding to the fourfold equinoxes and solstices. It is worked out subjectively as a coherent qabalistic formula by transmuting the Divine Name or Tetragrammaton, through the insertion of the central letter Shin that corresponds to Spirit, thus formulating the Pentagrammaton of Yod He Shin Vau He or “Jehoshuah.”

      I am a sincere “heretic” as I accept a magickal/esoteric tradition that teaches us the spiritual evolution of mankind is governed by ancient universal (“occult”) metaphysical concepts of Egyptian Aeons, and that the late Aeon of Osiris (based on local sacrificial rites of agricultural fertility) has now surrendered its Divine throne to the (planetary) Solar Child, Horus who shall in turn also mature and metamorphose in (the fullness of) time. This does seem to explain a great deal, but admittedly it is a very grand design, that requires immense esoteric study, and the real acquisition of applied experience.

      Phenomenologically, as a symbolic formula it clearly relates to Levantine astronomical notions of “procession” that correspond traditionally and astrologically to the equinoctial precession of the Zodiac. Hence the many populist theosophies concerning our new “age of Aquarius.”

      So where you and I seem to differ is over the correspondence of the literal and the symbolic, also the historical and the histrionic ~ the latter perhaps best addressed and potentially resolved by considering the ambiguities still extant with respect to the mysteries of Dionysus and the Orphic theophanies.

      • Well put my friend . i was debating an atheist on another blog and he kept using the words –god concept . i told him that those 2 words were an oxymoron . i went on to explain that God is a person not a concept .

        you and i understand the whole Jungian archetypes and the all importance of symbols . where my literalness falls is going beyond symbols to the Person of God Incarnate.

        Reading Tutea lately , he stresses that as the entire foundation against self autonomy .

        you mentioned Phenomenology . i think that that should be an expression of that which is a deep Neumenological transformation , Kant not withstanding .

        Eliade brings up the fact that the whole Dionysus and Orphic mysterys have not been unlocked yet , but they have morphed and manifested themselves thru history in many forms . This is why i think that ”Birth of Tragedy ” by Neitzche is such a masterpiece. he gets it .

        There may be a point of serious dialogue , meeting place between us ..and that is Pagels work called ”The Gnostic Paul ”. Here is a clear cut Hellenized Messianic Jew . what a fusion ! 100 proof strong epiphany. a guy who never walked or knew Christ in the flesh and yet knows things that the other Apostles knew and accepted his revelation .

        • David , Elaine Pagels is solid .
          the Pauline revival amongst Jewish scholars that are not Messianic came when Alan Segal a Reformed Jew wrote a real insightful book called ”Saul the Apostate : the Apostolicity of Paul .

          His basic premise is that Judaism has been ruptured historically by not looking into Paul . He states why :
          between the Prophet Ezekiel and the rise of the Kabbala, Paul ( like it or not ) is the only person that contains these things–

          1.He is an historical recognized person
          2.He put forth historical recognized verifiable writings
          3.He had enormous impact on both Jew and Gentiles
          4.He left a systematic theology both in theory and in a personal confessional manner.

          Segal goes on to say that we Jews no longer afford to ignore Paul . He may be an Apostate , but he is all we have that connects a long period in Judaic history .

        • David , look what i found — a review on Pagel’s ”Gnostic Paul”.

          The thing is is that Paul really did have secret knowledge , but it was the secret knowledge of the cross. When Paul says ”i seek to know nothing but Christ and him crucified ” he is no Docotist that denied Christ suffering for sin as we see in the 2nd book of Seth .

        • Rocket thanks for that, I’m extremely interested in these diverse cultural elements and doctrinal strains that are so complex and difficult to tease out, especially when you take into account early Neoplatonist ideas, & the numerous variations on the theme of heavenly ascent (see the work of the late Algis Uzdavinys for his brilliant discourses on this.)

          Frazer catalogued the Hellenistic cults pretty thoroughly and more recently Kerenyi covered a lot of this ground, together with Campbell, Eliade, and the Eranos Circle.

          Attis, Apollo, Asclepius, the (presumably Indian) Gymnosophists, Therapeuts, the Jewish militant sects associated with Qumran and the Mandaeans, Sabians, Orphics, Ophites, Serapists etc etc.

          All these heuristic tributaries eventually seem to work their way into subsequent Islamic contexts (and ancient hybrids like the Yezidis) through essentially Egyptian Hermetic currents (out of Alexandria.)

          Alexander the Great is said to have pursued his gruesome exploits following the trail of Dionysus to India, encountering all the Persian influences on Judaism, and so on, and on, from Buddhists and beyond. It is a hugely intriguing latticed “incense trail” of historical cross-fertilization and cultural promiscuity ~ and we haven’t even touched on the mystical feminine…!

          No more space here I suspect.

        • David , in reply to your april 5 — the best thing i have ever found on the neo-platonic -christian fusion has come from St. Gregory of Nyssia’s work on Plotinus. wow !
          the divine feminine — i have to great books on that –”Sophia Maria ” on Russin Orhtodoxy , and Barbera Newman’s work on Woman Christ . she also wrote alot on St. Hildegard. I saw the movie ”Vision ”on Hildegard made in Germany –wow and double wow! Eliade brings the women in in the first chapter of the stone age period . cant forget this .

  2. I have always wondered what Gibson intended to achieve with that movie. After seeing the graphic images I refused to subject myself to the entire movie, and based on other’s accounts I have decided wisely. If we consider that the main message was supposed to be forgiveness I found the concept particularly odd. In my view the graphic presentation works rather against forgiveness than for it – it stirs up emotions, evokes anger, hostility, and revengefulness.

    Another point: the central message of the New Testament’s is forgiveness, which most believers either entirely disregard or approach in a universalist manner. These leave us with two extremes: on one hand a revengeful society and an over-forgiving one on the other. The former finds the solution in wars the latter “solves” it by passively allowing ourselves to be destroyed.

    As always, the golden balance would be the optimal. What we need is a new beginning based on mutual forgiveness on behalf of all sides.

    • the work on the cross in all its horror is THE ultimate act of divine forgiveness . the directors motive is not important . we need to realize what it took for God to be so vulnerable as to allow himself to be subjected to such horror FOR US , if we ever to understand the mystery of the great love of the divine FOR US .

      when we get that , we have no choice but to forgive and serve others in following his example .

      • Thank you for your reply. The above however is an arbitrary and fallacious interpretation of God’s love and forgiveness and an equally arbitrary extension of the fallacy to what humans are bound to do.

        First of all, according to the Bible the act of Christ’s resurrection is what fulfils God’s forgiveness. Second, the Bible does not propose any public display of horror – either of Christ’s death or other – to illustrate God’s love for mankind. On the contrary. According to the Bible the condition of God’s love for us remains that we love one another, while those who break this rule will be punished.

        As I mentioned, the New Testament bound between God and mankind is NOT about universal forgiveness. It is a contract offered by God, but those humans who don’t fulfil the contract by observing the commandments of love Christ depicts a major disaster.
        In other words: only those are forgiven who are merciful to their fellow humans. In such regard the NT is in complete harmony with the OT.

        • An addition: the reason why I find this point crucial: because the wrong interpretation of both human and divine forgiveness is one of the main reasons behind the rise of narcissistic societies, and behind the fact that our societies are operating on reverse moral rules.

          The reversed moral value system has geared mankind into a global-level social, economical and political crisis.

          Forgiveness – both divine and human – is NOT conditional and is definitely not about allowing the abuse to continue, either in a family or in our societies.

        • Your input is interesting healing wanderer.

          I don’t see ANY evidence of mankind being redeemed by the Vernal ritual sacrifice of the “lamb of God.” Even educated and “informed” belief is in no way an appropriate solution to mankind’s ills, but actually augments them. Those who exercise political and corporate power simply manipulate these sentiments and pay lip-service to them.

          We need a moral overhaul, a complete ethical retooling. Christianity will never be a global liberating force so long as it remains a literal belief in impossible fables; it has served the cynical power elites for centuries as their strongest de facto psychological asset. Islam challenged this when it first conquered the Levant and N Africa, but it has now been distorted, inverted and deployed as a weapon of oppressive cruelty that glorifies martyrdom. This is utter sanctimonious bullshit, ludicrous and contemptible treasonous lies and blasphemous platitudes that only inflate the social credit of corrupt monarchs and effete misogynists ~ to the eternal delight of genocidal racists everywhere.

          Official recognition of the Jesus-cycle is all about controlled opposition, and market-driven exploitation of public rituals especially in America.

          We certainly do need to “break that set” and break open our heads so that the heart of Nature can beat again in rhythmic synergy with the free will of humanity…

          Apologies if this offends anyone, but enough is enough.

        • Healing, is the N.T. in harmony with the O.T. ? according a heretic named Marcion , NO.

          There is a reason why the New Testament is called NEW . my position is that it is someone like the old , but paradoxically nothing like it .
          like the Hindu Rig Vedas say about walking a razors edge . that is what the Christian Practitioner must do with the Bible .

        • Rocket- thank you for your reply. You have raised excellent questions so here I would like to respond to your points, and to some I read from Dandelion Salad.

          This conversation has been very helpful to me. It made me realise several aspects of the widespread misunderstanding regarding the message of NT, meanwhile it confirmed my intuitions about the socially destructive effects of the Gibson movie.

          David’s comments on the thread have been especially enlightening, also in this sense.

          To restrict the length of my comment I highlight only the points below:

          I don’t think any of us needs Gibson – or any other human being (priest, teacher, artist, etc) – to explain God’s love to us through the NT. The NT, especially the Gospels, explain themselves to those who have ears for them.

          To further elaborate on this point:
          Neither God’s love, nor love in general can be explained or demonstrated through extreme graphic images of torture. It is Psychology 101 to realise that the emotional-cognitive response triggered by such images and the very concept behind such emotions are the exact opposite of mental health and the overall fruit that pathology bears both on individual and social levels.

          Thus, inasmuch as Christianity needed to be “sold” at all, what we can “buy” from this movie is the wrong kind of response on behalf of both believers and non-believers. Accordingly the existing believers and new “converts” are understood as the ones who accept and willingly subject themselves to abuse, whereas the non-believers may feel free to practice their abuses against these volunteers-for being abused .

          Then if to above we attach the misconception of God’ universal forgiveness extended towards the abusers then we should actually stop wondering why we ended up with a pathological sado-masochistic society (what I call narcissistic society) divided into abusers and abused.

          In conclusion of above what we need the least of all is the approach to Christianity that Gibson offers – both in an “artistic” sense and from the perspective of Gibson’s highly arbitrary Scripture-interpretation.

          This last point – a question Rocket has also raised also on my blog – I will try to explain in more detail, although the post on my blog I referred to earlier already offers the answer:
          “(The myth about) forgiveness: the message of Easter to the destroyers of mankind”:

        • Rocket –
          Continuing my reply:

          The New Testament is new ultimately with regards to Christ’s focussing on the universal divine laws over the culturally-humanly defined failed applications of these.
          However the message of the OT and NT remains the same in the sense that they both protect and speak for the abused and condemn the abusers. Consider Mat 5:17: “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

          Meanwhile I posted a longer reply to you also on my blog.

          Let me know if this makes sense.

        • Gibson is an artist. i write songs and perform for a living . so naturally i tend to side with the artist. Gibson’s movies in general are all great works . what he managed to do with the Passion was isolate out the life of Christ and focus in on his death . Gibson being true to form knows enough history to know that other movies have sanitized the cross. we must not forget now the Romans dealt with rebels . this movie is pretty accurate to this account .

          as far as salvation being conditional , i dont agree . Mercy and Grace would not be what they are if they are earned by some merit badge system . no , the fact is is that at the end of the day when all is said and done it really is John 3;16 –”For God so love the World that he gave his only begotten Son ……. portray it in writing , art , music , film ….no matter the medium …just speak the good news.

  3. I don;t understand how Mel Gibson’s “sins” can have anything to do with a supernatural intervention alleged to have occurred at the dawn of the common era over two millennia ago.

    Hollywood may be given to miracles, but that would certainly be a truly remarkable time-travelling achievement.

    For the real lowdown on Beverly Hills, I recommend listening to what Roseanne Barr had to say to Abby Martin’s “Breaking the Set” on RT today!

    • David, the entire purpose of God coming to Earth in the human form of Jesus was for reconciliation with humans to God. Jesus died for ALL of our sins. Not sure how you could be unaware of this. It’s basic Christianity 101.

      What does Hollywood have to do with anything?

      Your suggestion to watch “Breaking the Set” is most off-topic.

      Did you watch the film, or just commenting on the description of the film?

      • Sorry Lo, I don’t subscribe to this view.

        You quote Mel Gibson. He made a shockingly literal film about crucifixion that revealed more about him and his father than perennial mystical truths.

        Roseanne Barr points out that Hollywood rules. I just don’t like Gibson’s precocity and arrogance.

        I have no need of redemptive vicarious atonement nor a crucified rabbi, I simply do not believe the story as it is packaged by Rome. It’s absurd as Augustine suggested, so why must I believe it even if he found that good reason? If it comforts and consoles some people, fine ~ who am I to dictate their beliefs? ~ but I am not obliged to accept it. Rocket and I have discussed this at length.

        I realize you are very religious, so if you are offended by my rejection of this imperialist soteriological drama then I shall have to refrain from commenting further.

        Sorry, I am not exactly atheist, but I am a free mystical thinker and will not be intimidated by the cultic propaganda of martyrdom. In my opinion this is precisely the problem, not the solution. America is obsessed with guilt.

        • David, I’m well aware of your stance on this issue. I do read all the comments on the posts.

          I wasn’t asking for you to accept Jesus, I was replying to your comment that you didn’t seem to understand why Gibson’s sins were forgiven.

          As for the quotes from Gibson, they were on the video’s description and when I post videos I copy the description. I had to replace the video so I left the previous description as there wasn’t a description on this video.

          You also mentioned “alleged” as if there is the possibility that this event did not occur. There are many unbelieving historians who have written that Jesus indeed lived and died from crucifixion.

          Hollywood had nothing to do with this film. Gibson put it out himself, I believe.

          Jesus was as anti-imperialistic as one can be. I really don’t understand your statement about “…this imperialist soteriological drama…”.

          I will ask again, did you watch the film before commenting?

          Rocket has commented on the original post, please read through some of the comments there.

        • OK thanks for your considered response Lo. I hold you in extremely high regard and value your work so I appreciate your devotion to detail.

          I am very well aware of the controversy over historicity, and my view is that nobody has yet provided an adequate account that includes all known elements; perhaps it is an impossible task. Rocket and I have had some interesting conversations.

          It is a deeply emotive issue and I tend to distance myself from the most extreme views. Legions of academics and scholars have enjoyed lucrative careers from their efforts, and the debate goes on; marginally less exclusively than it once was even in my lifetime.

          We have progressed beyond inquisition, but there is still massive resistance to inclusive, dispassionate inquiry and analysis.

          My reference to the Roman imperialist “cult of christ,” is largely a nod in the direction of Joe Atwill. Acharya S has debated with Joe, and even they disagree.

          It’s a very demanding problem, possibly even more intractable than quantum logic.

        • Lo, apologies as I neglected to acknowledge your question. Like healing wanderer who commented above, I was so put off by the sequences I did see, that I refused to watch this film when it was first released. I thought it was a sado-masochistic orgy of grotesque and depraved self-indulgence worthy of Vlad the Impaler.

          When I can summon the enthusiasm I shall have another look, but the very thought of it repels me.

          Have you ever listened to any of Acharya’s talks? There is a very thoughtful recent easter conversation with her on paramania radio that I think you would actually find extremely interesting, despite some occasional glib silliness from the host. She talks about the Horus birth narrative hieroglyphics at Luxor around 1hr 17m that I found particularly significant, but her whole discussion is full of rich references.


        • David ,

          if you want to understand this movie from an artistic view , it is part of Gibson’s Trilogy against the concept of the Empire verses the individual .
          1. Braveheart
          2. The Passion of the Christ
          3. Apocolypto

          2 characters resisted using violence , the Passion resists with non violence .

          you have too see the full picture of what this great writer and director is about . this is not about American guilt . if you watch all 3 movies back to back you will see it as individual against oppressive Empire.

          Aristotle said that art must first be judged in form unified in concept itself . you have not said a word about the art of the movie in context with the Trilogy . only a few critics have understood this . A writer for Rolling Stone magazine here in the States who wrote a terrible review of this movie . one year later wrote another review saying his former review was a mistake because he did not see the Trilogy for what it was .

        • Thanks Rocket, I didn’t know it was a trilogy. I hated Braveheart’s sickening glorification of sacrifice, but found Apocalypto pretty amazing in terms of pace, conviction and sheer production values, if a bit histrionic.

          I’m steeling myself to the grim task of facing this part 2 just to “appease” Lo really. Frankly, I really loathe this doctrine of atonement. After all, it hearkens back to genesis, & “original sin” that is simply wrong and only a result of the chance ordering of old books, so hardly a legitimate basis for doctrinal infallibility. I feel the end is nigh!

        • David , actually the vicarious expiatory sacrifice does not come from the Augustinian concept of original sin . after all many Pelagians believe it , and Pelagians believed in original innocence.

          it comes from what we have become by choice and seeks to turn things around away from our destructive acts by first seeing a re-defining of Divinity in humility .

          as to how it fits into the Trilogy is interesting –anti-Empire , Sacrificial death motif , and accessing the importance of the individual and conscience. Gibson’s Trilogy throws the gauntlet down as to re-tooling Ethics . at least that is how i take it . Ethics has not worked so therefore as Swietzer says one must throw one on the wheel of history .

        • David , i could find no space to respond to your enough is enough above , so i will do it here . Mircea Eliade gives an account from the Paelothropians to the Eleusinan mysterys leading to the Gnostic cults and the Greco-Oriental syncretism that we may safely conclude that Feuerbach was at least partially right when he critiqued religion as ”mere human projection ”.

          Divinity in the Hebraic , Hellenic -Roman -Hindu worlds of thought and action were defined in terms of might makes right honor or shame . This tribal and governmental illusion and oppression, … [continued]

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