In my humble opinion…
After waiting in long lines and missing several of the sold-out shows I
finally got to see the movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” I
don’t think I will ever be the same man, Christian, or minister of
the Gospel. Prior to attending I reread the sections of the last 12 hours
of Jesus Christ’s life in the four Gospels. When viewing the film I
wanted to rest assured the filmmaker followed the script of the sacred text
in the recreation of the story interpreted in his script. For the most part,
Mr. Mel Gibson stayed true to the Biblical interpretation of the events leading
up to the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ.
For the last several weeks, I have read dozens of articles and opinions
from varied sections of American life. I won’t repeat some of their
views and I believe we all have a right to voice our opinion as long as it
does not unjustly harm the next person. One thing I am certain is that each
of the three main branches of religion are three different religions because
of one main reason…Jesus. The Judaic sect differs with Christianity,
because in their religious tradition they still await the first coming (advent)
of the Messiah. This being true, they would of course find the movie offensive
to their belief, because of the movie’s depiction of Jesus. And of
course, Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah prophesized about
in the old testament of the Bible by the great prophets like Isaiah creating
a definitive and respected separation in religious understandings between
Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
The Islamic sect differs with Christianity, because they believe Jesus did
live, but he did not die and rise again as we Christians believe. They do
believe Jesus lived and was a prophet with great wisdom and powers, but he
was not the final Messenger sent by God, because that office was reserved
for The Honorable Muhammad, may peace be upon his name.
Somewhere in the historical middle of the two opposing religious traditions
is the one I share with believers in the divinity of Christ Jesus. He was
sent by the Father in heaven to fulfill the scriptures of the old testament
and to bring us into the era of grace to prepare us for the rapture and our
What I pray all who view the movie, regardless of religious affiliation,
recognize that Jesus the Christ endured humiliation, unimaginable physical
pain and incomparable mental torment in the unjust courts of people he only
wished to serve and free from their spiritual bondage. He endured this travesty
of justice to reply, “Abba (Father) forgive them for they know not
what they do”. If anything, all people from all religious or nonreligious
understandings should agree at least on one common accord…Jesus epitomized
the belief and practice of faith, grace, and forgiveness for all of humanity
regardless of our trespasses towards our enemies and friends.
It is my prayer that all Christians recognize Jesus the Christ had all power
of God our Father at his disposal, but chose to stay true to the will of
God. He did not have to endure the pain and humility, but instead he humbled
himself to below our level to lift us up so that we could ultimately be worthy
of being the heirs of God the Father and children of the Most High God. But,
thank God for grace, because each of us has proven we are not worthy of God’s
faithfulness. We have proven we have fallen short of being worthy of the
sacrifice for our Lord and Savior Jesus. Each of us has not completely rendered
all to Christ even though we testify that we believe Jesus was and is victorious
over the cross.
The film, “The Passion of the Christ” should and will remind
us that our Lord once answered the call from on High by lowering Himself
below our level to show us His Divine Love for all people including His enemies,
non-believers, and unfaithful people called Christians and friends of God.
After seeing the film I walked away with a greater desire to serve my Lord.
I walked away with deeper desire to forgive those who persecute me every
day. I walked away with a greater desire to strive for humility so that I
can become empowered to carry the cross and burden of God’s people.
There is no pain too great for me to endure for Christ. There is no weight
upon my shoulders too great for me to tote for the glory of my Lord. There
is no threat of death too great for now I know better today than I did yesterday
that the only way to receive the full blessings of my Lord is to surrender
my all to Him even if it means I find fulfillment of my call to do God’s
will in my death. But, thank the Lord my God for becoming the Son of Man
and dying on the cross to reclaim and/or adorn His crown in His resurrection.
Now I know without a speck of doubt that true victory is not found in death,
because He already proved we have victory over death, but true victory is
living a life for Christ Jesus. So today instead of simply saying I will
die for Christ I emphatically shout with an empowered fervor from on High,
I will live for Christ my Lord and Savior even if it means my mortal death.
The following question is not for me to ask you. The following question
is one we all must ask ourselves. Jesus the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son
of God, our Messiah and Most High Priest who reigns as part of the triune
Godhead surrendered His life for us even when He didn’t have to do
it. He could have called down legions of Angels to free him from his inhumane
torture at the hand of those He only wanted to save. The question we all
must ask ourselves is: Am I willing to live for Christ?
Barrett-Osahar Berry is a preacher, political pundit, and poet currently
living in Boston. He is president & CEO of The Light Group Ministries
International and associate minister at Greater Love Tabernacle Church. He
has served as served as president of the Emerging Leadership Institute and
has chaired Black Youth Vote and the National Black Student Government Association.
He co-created and served as the first editor of BlackPressUSA.com. Berry
has written speeches as a White House appointed speechwriter for member of
the President’s Cabinet and a national political party. He has studied
political science, Africana studies, and theology at Morris Brown College
and Harvard University. He is a member of the first African college fraternity,
KMT Asen founded at Morehouse College in 1988.