Mar 11

Risen: A Movie Review

Truth be told, I don’t have much interest in movies. It’s rare for me to want to watch one on my own and the family has to anchor me to something to get me to watch one with them. If someone recommends a movie to me, I might watch it many months later, on accident, and then remember that someone recommended it to me.

This week, I was bored enough on a flight to see what there is to see on the free movie app that United uses. I think I went through the list looking for a specific move but Risen caught my eye. I recalled that it was about Yeshua’s last days on earth as seen through the Roman perspective. I watched it and am glad I did.

The main character is Pontius Pilate’s right hand man, named Flavius but called by his title, Tribune, throughout the movie. The movie opens with Flavius squashing a small rebellion of Jews and the leader of them dies while referencing the coming Messiah who will destroy Rome. Flavius executes the man saying “today is not that day”. The first half of this movie is brutal and is meant to show what live was like under Roman rule – brutal to say the least. Flavius returns from this battle only to be sent directly to supervise the end of Yeshua’s execution and he is the one who orders Yeshua stabbed while the legs are broken on the other two.

What transpires is that Flavius is tasked with finding the body of Yeshua after He is resurrected and, in this hunt, he changes a whole lot. Keep in mind this movie is fiction based on the Gospels. The movie is fiction much like CS Lewis’ works were fiction: it’s based on the Gospels and inserts a fictional character to show the application of the faith and the journey many take to conversion. Many people can’t take fictional Gospel renderings if they look too much like the real thing. Some of us go through phases where we can’t stand to see anything that looks like the faith adulterated in any way. If you’re one of these folks, this movie will irritate you, particularly at the end. But if you can look at it as a purposely crafted fictional work to illustrate a very good Biblical lesson, then it will be of much benefit to you and is a powerful thing. Keep in mind the move is fiction.

Keeping in mind this movie is fiction, what it shows is an incredible lesson of conversion. It shows with, remarkable clarity, the struggle when the conversion process starts. It shows in a very unique way the contrast of contemplating the lives we used to live against the doubts and reluctance to fully submit to our Messiah and His Father. And it shows that once one commits and comes to Yeshua, there really is no turning back.

It took me two flights to finish this film and I am glad I did. If you can look past the fictional aspects and a couple of doctrinal glitches to see the bigger picture, then this movie will be a positive experience in the same way that the great works of the past are.