Wretched
2/20/16 at 12:56 AM 3 Comments

Risen: A Love-Hate Review

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 There is so much to love about the movie “Risen:

➢ A clever and fresh story line

➢ Mostly non-cheese-ball Christian dialogue

➢ Wonderful cinematography ➢ Credible acting

➢ First rate score

➢ On point lighting

➢ Graphic brutality that was not gratuitous which enhanced one’s appreciation for the barbaric era in which Jesus lived

➢ The movie took respectful but not blasphemous liberties for the sake of the narrative (yes, some timelines were wrong, but nothing was heretical)

➢ The ascension scene was pretty cool

Best of all, “Risen” hammers home the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. And all of God’s people said, “Not so fast.”

As I sat in my reclining chair as the credits rolled, I found myself feeling queasy for two reasons. The first was likely the result of popcorn with too much 10W-40 on it. The second reason was more problematic: the Gospel was mostly MIA, and when it did make a guest appearance, it failed to mention that:

➢ Jesus is fully God and fully man

➢ Jesus is the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament

➢ We are sinners who will be judged and sent to hell by an angry God

➢ Jesus is our propitiation who received the wrath that we deserve for our sins

➢ Justification is the result of faith in Jesus Christ

Instead, the love Gospel was front and center. Jesus was really, really nice and loving; but that is all He was. The sum total of the movie’s message was, believe in Jesus because He is like, way nicer than anyone.

That message was supported by the behavior of the disciples. While not erudite, the disciples were not dunces. They were biblically learned Jews who spent three years with the Rabbi. After the resurrection, they clearly understood that Jesus is “God in flesh” who died for the sins of His people.

“Risen” portrays the disciples (especially Bartholomew and Peter) as silly men who are just happy, happy, happy that their Yeshua rose from the dead. They laughed and hugged Jesus a lot, but they didn’t worship the risen Lord with a sense of awe.

While there are a number of quibbles that I could point out, they are relatively insignificant and easily overlookable. Biffing it on the Gospel is not.

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