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Ron (quixilver) wrote,
@ 2004-02-26 13:28:00
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    Current mood: loved
    Current music:"Can't Take The Pain" by Third Day

    ashes to ashes...
    headed to Ash Wednesday last night. really good sermon. pastor fel talked a little about the movie ("The Passion of The Christ", what else?) and the rest of his message was really good. he posed a question that got me thinking all night: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU PRAYED WITH ANGUISH? i know what he meant, the last time i actually went balls-out cried in prayer, not just singing the doxology or those prayers we learned in sunday school when we were kids. he referred to most pictures of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane, where He sits there calm and collected. Chuck Swindol had said that that depiction is wrong. anyway, i do remember the last time i prayed with anguish, and it was the day off we had. a lot of you didn't know, but that was when i got into a huge fight with my mom. i remember driving home from hayward, and the song "Take Me Away" by Lifehouse came on. i started singing along, and next thing you know i'm crying, praying to God, "take me away, take me away... i've got nothing left to say, JUST TAKE ME AWAY"... it was the same HONEST prayer that David used to sing, the same HONEST prayer that we sometimes repress. a lot of Christians stay calm during times of troubles, and rightfully so. we KNOW things will be ok. but i also believe that God wants us to be as honest and candid in prayer as we would crying on our bestfriend's shoulder.

    anyway, after the service i went home for a quick minute and then headed to the theaters. cel and err's service ran late, so we had to wait for them. rj picked up raisa a little late, so had to wait for him too. i got there at 8:45, half an hour before the movie starts, and there are no lines. ok, i'm confused. little skeptical too. raisa and rj got there at around 9pm and rai and i went inside to look for seats... theater was like a schoolboy's pb&j sandwich... PACKED. we found some seats up top, waaay in the back. we actually had to squeeze 4 people in three seats, good thing the armrests go up. ok fine, the movie...

    i couldn't describe it last night, but i was able to think of a word that is adequate to describe it... POWERFUL. i was describing it to my co-worker just a few minutes ago and i felt my voice tremble again as tears formed in my eyes. i didn't see any evidence of what Jewish people might consider offensive, and if anything, the movie was pretty objective in describing what happened. some key thoughts about the movie...

    ? how can the people just stand there and watch Him get flogged and crucified?! but then i looked around and realized, HOW CAN WE JUST SIT HERE AND WATCH HIM GET FLOGGED AND CRUCIFIED?? further proof of the fact that our society has somewhat devolved into something close to the culture back then. whereas they can watch people get executed and punished, we have executions that are televised too. and the only thing that differs a tarantino movie and the spectacles they called crucifixion back in the day is the script. they're just movies, right? however they do depict rather graphically what things we (sadly) enjoy watching. someone can't just get shot anymore, the bullet has to go through his body. and why just jump out of a burning building when we can make it explode too? (ok, most of you probably can't pick up the sarcasm here, but it's here.). i'm not saying i'm about to stand in the picket line and protest or anything, it's just an observation.

    ? the movie is VERY graphic, and walking out of the theater i saw a couple of kids who are probably no older than 9.

    ? there's a scene when peter felt such shame for denying Jesus that he couldn't look Mary in the eye. that's probably the scene in the movie that connects with me the most. how many times have we denied Jesus by going back to doing things that are not pleasing to God? or not speaking up when injustice is being done? or looking straight ahead pretending not to see a homeless person looking straight through your car window in the middle of traffic?

    ? i believe that the people who chanted for Jesus' crusifixion were the same people He ticked off in the temple just days before (ie Jesus walks into the temple and finds that it has been turned into a mall. He flips and starts tossing things around.). think about it. people who lived in the actual city were all merchants and traders, people that Jesus ticked off. whereas people who followed Jesus to listen to His teachings were the poor people, mostly the ones who live in the outskirts of the city. this movie reaffirms that theory. the further from the city Jesus got (on His way to the crucifixion), the more the crowd begged the soldiers to let Him go. i'm not saying that this is the truth, but it's good to see that there's someone else out there who believes the same thing i do.

    ok, so back to the movie itself. i highly recommend it. i highly recommend bringing a box of kleenex too. i don't want people to watch it. i want them to EXPERIENCE IT. there were times during the beatings when my stomach began to turn. not necessarily because it's a violent scene, but because i KNOW the guy getting his face punched in. the most powerful thing i've ever seen was back in '96, the first time i gave my life to Christ, a man named Dick McEwan, whom i've sang with in the church choir and has helped support my first steps, gave me a sketch (he's a very talented artist). it was a sketch of Jesus, but in a way that i've never seen Him before. His left eye was puffed shut, His face a little swollen, blood and tears trickling down his face. but the part that really gets me, is His other eye, the one that's still open. it's looking ahead. it's filled with so much love and compassion, determination and pain. that single picture has spoken volumes to me. and to see it in live action last night left me breathless. you don't just see the movie, you're a part of it. the audience was quiet from start to finish, except when you hear whimpers and sniffles. you feel yourself cringe, gasp and cry along with everyone in the theater for every crack of the whip, every punch in the face, every kick in the stomach, and ultimately, every nail that pierced His flesh.

    i can sit here and talk on end about this movie until Jesus comes back, but i am still at work, and i do have a lot to finish still. besides work i need to write an article on the movie for the church newsletter, aside from my trip to modesto tonight. so one thing i urge you to do, EXPERIENCE THE MOVIE. i leave you with the song i listened to on heavy rotation last night....

    Can't Take The Pain
    Lyrics by Mac Powell / Music by Third Day

    From the recording: Time, Track #8.

    No, I didn't see this one coming
    It suddenly snuck up on me
    I can't say you didn't tell me so
    I can't say you didn't warn me
    I can't take the pain of knowing that I left You
    I can't bear the shame of knowing I was wrong
    But I'll take the blame for everything that I've done
    I can't take the pain of leaving you alone
    Of leaving you alone

    I was there when they accused you
    but I guess I was too afraid
    Not just once and not just twice
    But three times I denied your name

    I never thought I'd get even a second chance
    But you've given that and so much more
    And then for every time I ever did deny
    You ask me if I love you, You know I do, Lord

    So I'm off to follow in your steps
    it won't be easy, it's safe to say
    There are only two roads I can walk on down
    The road less traveled is the one you paved

    Lord, You took the pain even though I left You
    And You took the shame and You made it all Your own
    Why'd you take the blame for everything that I've done?
    Lord, You took the pain
    You and You alone, You and You alone



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