New movie, Son of God, is a good portrayal of Jesus Christ

February 13, 2014
Charles Biggs

I saw a special preview of a new movie, Son of God, that is scheduled to hit theaters on Feb. 28.

It is a summary of the three-year ministry of Jesus, His death on the cross and resurrection.

Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, produced this movie. They were behind the highly successful series, The Bible, on the History Channel recently.

Most would remember Downey as the star of the television show, Touched by an Angel, which had a remarkably Christian message for network television.

Burnett’s first big hit was his producing the long-running Survivor television reality show.

The Bible was a 10-hour series that became the No. 1 new series on cable TV in 2013. It is estimated that it has been seen by more than 100 million viewers worldwide.

According to 20th Century Fox, The Bible is the fastest selling TV title on home video released in the last five years.

His work continues on Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Sing Off, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader and People’s Choice Awards.

He has won five Emmys.

Burnett has made hundreds of millions of dollars in the entertainment industry and it is wonderful that he is investing so much money, time and talent into getting the message of Jesus Christ and the Bible into a post-Christian culture.

The Son of God stars Diogo Morgado, a Portuguese actor, as Jesus. He does a remarkable job.

This is the first significant movie on the life of Christ since Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was released 10 years ago.

 

Burnett and Downey want churches to use this new movie as a way to introduce Jesus to people who normally would not go to a church service.

In fact, churches can call 1-800-991-6011 or go online at www.outreach.com/SonofGod to get more information of using the film.

In a taped introduction to the film, the couple talks about how some churches are encouraging their entire congregations to attend the movie on its opening night on Feb. 28.

Some churches have actually bought out entire theaters for that opening night and their members are inviting friends and family members to a free showing.

I saw the movie on an I-Max screen and the photography was outstanding. I can’t watch these movies without being emotionally moved by some of the scenes, including:

- Jesus walking on the water

- Feeding the 5,000 (actually it was 5,000 men plus women and children)

- Stoning of the prostitute

- Raising Lazarus from the dead

- Recruiting Peter, James and Matthew as disciples

- Driving the money changers from the Temple

- His trial before the Pharisees and Pilate

- Jesus’ crucifixion on a cross

- Jesus’ resurrection on the third day

It is particularly difficult to see the portrayal of the mistreatment of Jesus and His physical torture without feeling guilty because my sin is the reason He had to suffer unjustly.

His anguish over his abandonment by His Father on the cross was a painful reminder of me being spared the punishment I deserve.

Son of God sticks to scripture fairly well. I am a stickler for these movies.

Obviously, there is added dialogue because the Gospels aren’t comprehensive. The movie takes some artistic license but not enough to warrant a major criticism.

I left the theater very pleased with the movie but I felt something was missing. Son of God drives home the point that Jesus was a man and the Son of God. It shows him being born of a virgin (Downey plays his mother Mary) and living a perfect life. It chronicles his conflicts with the religious authorities and the Roman rulers.

His humanity and divinity are correctly displayed.

Son of God places more emphasis on the resurrection than The Passion of the Christ which is good. By the way, the Catholic Church has previewed Son of God and given its approved to be used in Catholic schools and churches.

But this movie doesn’t really emphasize the sin problem. It clearly presents Jesus as the Savior, but why does man need a Savior?

In the scene where Jesus saves the life of a prostitute, He correctly tells her to “sin no more.” I would have liked to see the depravity of fallen mankind portrayed.

You know, Jesus in the Bible spoke more about Hell than He did about Heaven. If you want to use a film as a tool for evangelism, it should point out to sinners that they have an eternal destiny apart from God if they don’t accept Jesus.

All in all, Son of God gets a big thumbs up. Don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit doesn’t use this movie and individual Christians and churches to bring more sinners into faith in Jesus Christ.

And isn’t it great to see God use a Hollywood couple that has enjoyed enormous success to risk their reputations to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ? That is unusual and remarkable in the age and the culture in which we live.

Go see Son of God. Take an unsaved friend or family member.

 

• Golfer: “I’d move Heaven and Earth to break 100 on this course.”

Caddy: “Try Heaven; you’ve already moved most of the Earth.”

• A judge asks a defendant to please stand.

“You are charged with murdering a garbage man with a chain saw.”

From the back of the courtroom a man shouts, “You big fat liar!”

“Silence in the court!” The judge turns to the defendant again and says, “You are also charged with killing a paperboy with a shovel.”

“You tightwad!” blurts the spectator.

“Quiet!” yelled the judge. “You are also charged with killing a mailman with an electric drill.”

“You cheap son of a… ” the spectator starts to shout.

The judge thunders back, ” I will hold you in contempt! What is the reason for your outbursts?”

“I’ve lived next to that liar for 10 years now, but do you think he ever had a tool when I needed to borrow one?”

• A lawyer dies and goes to the end of a long line at the Pearly Gates. To his surprise, St. Peter leaves his desk, walks over and greets him warmly. An angel takes the lawyer by the hand, guides him to the front of the line and settles him into a comfortable chair.

The lawyer says, “I appreciate all this attention, but what makes me so special?”

St. Peter replies, “Well, we’ve added up all the hours that you billed your clients, and by my calculation, you must be about 193 years old!”