Monday, March 24, 2008

The passion's fitting climax

We watched the final episode of the Passion on the BBC in church last night as part of our special later guest service.

Someone asked before we started whether we'd pull it if the programme veered off into heresy. We said 'no' (though we were a little nervous!).

No one need have worried. I thought it was a stunning and deeply moving climax to an intriguing series. There was no doubt that Jesus physically rose from the dead and that the disciples knew it.

For me the scene at Emmaus was wonderfully done. I thought the idea of casting a different actor to play the risen Jesus was a master-stroke, introducing that element of doubt into the disciples' and Mary's minds when he first appeared. I thought it was a wonderful and moving moment when he changed back into Joseph Mawle as he shared the bread and wine.

Even the final scene at the pool of Siloam was very effective. I know it moved the location of Jesus' encounter with Peter from beach in Galilee and I know it moved the Great Commission location from the hills of Galilee to Jerusalem. But it was incredibly moving seeing on Peter's face the look of recognition, the fact that he'd got who Jesus was and what he was about and was ready to do it and tell everyone about it.

If Christians can't use this season finale to talk to their colleagues around the water cooler about who Jesus is, then we're in trouble.

Well done BBC, the Passion was not without its faults but overall it was a splendid, gritty representation of the events of that first Easter.

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