Many Christians have their favorite movies about Easter. This season, there is a new offering told from the point of view of a Roman soldier. My colleague, Val Minard, writing the for the March 16, 2016 edition of My Central New Jersey, gives us a brief review of the movie, “Risen,” and shares the story of 19th century Christian woman whose experiences reflect the life, teachings, and resurrection of Jesus Christ–a practical, demonstrated Christianity. Lives of 21st century seekers are still being resurrected by the example of the Master and his followers. Here’s Val:
The Easter story, “Risen,” is a powerful and unusual movie portraying the last days of Jesus after his resurrection. Although the script attempts to stay true to the Biblical account, the story is told from the perspective of a fictional character, Clavis, a Roman tribune, responsible for finding Jesus’ missing body.
When we first meet Clavis, played by actor Joseph Fiennes, he is a war-weary military man numbed by all the violence and death he’s witnessed. Although a worshipper of the Roman god of war, Mars, he is also a spiritual seeker that has perhaps lost hope. In his search for Jesus’ body, we see a transition from a curious observer to one that has become intrigued by, if not converted to, Jesus’ teachings. He’s one of the few men who sees Jesus alive between his resurrection and his ascension. One can only imagine how this experience must have shaken Clavis’ assumptions about mortal existence and how he afterward viewed his own relationship to God.
Even though the concept of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension may seem beyond material comprehension, there are basic questions that it generates for all of us. For instance, is there life after death? Is life eternal? If life continues on a spiritual plan, is man essentially spiritual, or does he need death to become spiritual?