Risen: Movie Review
(NOTE: SPOILER ALERT)
Yesterday, a friend and I went to see the movie Risen. The movie is a fictional account of how the resurrection of Jesus Christ might be seen through the eyes of a Roman soldier. Clavius is a battle-weary military officer who took part in Jesus’s crucifixion. In this regard, the movie is quite unique. The filmmakers do a terrific job in character and plot development, as well as visual effects. Further, the actors provide a compelling performance. Overall, I found the movie inspiring and enjoyable.
However, while I understand the need for creative license, there are some scenes that do go against Scripture. The most obvious is the portrayal of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute when in fact, she had been demon-possessed (Luke 8:1-2). Yet the movie does present the beauty of a transformed life. The message of the gospel is centered on God’s unconditional love which transforms us so that we are never the same again.
Near the end of the movie, we see a truly touching scene where Jesus heals a diseased-ridden leper. It would have been better had the scene been placed prior to the Resurrection. One of the primary purposes for Jesus repeatedly displaying His power to heal prior to the Resurrection was in order to prove that He was Who He claimed to be. Late, the Resurrection is the final proof of that claim.
The Miracles Prove Jesus Was Who He Said He Was
Jesus said, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works [miracles] themselves.” (John 14:10-11 ESV)
The miracle of the Resurrection is the miracle of all miracles. If that doesn’t convince someone that Jesus was Who He said He was, nothing will. This is not to say that God does not heal today. He certainly does! However, while Jesus was physically on earth, His miracles served a specific purpose: To prove He was Who He claimed to be.
There are a few other curious scenes in the movie as well. Nevertheless, overall, Risen beautifully captures the message that the love of Jesus extends to everyone – even those who took part in nailing Him to the Cross. This is truly a precious reminder because the fact of the matter is that we all took part. The Bible teaches,
“[Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.“ (1 John 2:2 NIV)
In summary, Risen is entertaining and thought-provoking. If it piques the interest of viewers to explore the Bible for themselves, then it has done its job.
- Rating for entertainment and quality: 4 stars
- Rating for Biblical accuracy: 2.5 star
“He is not here; He has risen, just as He said!” Hallelujah!