A Mel Gibson film, 'The Passion,' is being touted by religious leaders and organizations as 'one of the greatest evangelistic tools in modern-day history.' There are, however, some things that I know that you won't learn from it.
1. It won't teach you the GOSPEL. Is not the Bible sufficient to give us the account of Christ's death? Is it not the record that God has given of His Son, 1 John 5:11. Faith does not walk by sight, 2 Cor. 5:7. The truth regarding the Lord Jesus Christ, and how God has redeemed and justified sinners by His sovereign grace, is not revealed through man-made imagery (idolatry), but through the Gospel revealed in God's Word, I Cor. 2:1-5.
2. It can't show you the true SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. The question is, 'When the Bible speaks of the sufferings of Christ for sinners, was it referring to His physical sufferings?' As painful as His physical sufferings were, that is not what caused Him to cry out, 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' No! The prophet Isaiah wrote of 'the travail of His soul.' The physical sufferings, that wicked men inflicted upon our Lord, were not the cause of Him crying out. Isaiah the prophet declared, "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin," Isaiah 53:10. His sufferings were about God justly pouring out His wrath upon His Son as the Substitute and Sin-Bearer of His elect. It is the Just One dying for the unjust, that God the Father be just in justifying (declaring righteous) every one for whom Christ died. The Lord Jesus, by His death, satisfied God's perfect righteousness by which God has forever justified chosen sinners, having put away their sin, once for all, Rom. 5:9,10.
3. It doesn't tell WHY the Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life. If it did, there wouldn't be a debate as to whether the Jews or Romans killed him. Acts 2:23- "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." God slew His Son, but the wicked hands used are representative of the sins of His people. If Christ laid down His life for me, my SINS nailed Him there. Salvation is conditioned on His righteous life and sacrificial death alone. I could not provide that perfect righteousness, but He did. I was guilty of the wrath of God, but God purposed that wrath on His Son. By His death, God has redeemed, justified, and sanctified every sinner for whom Christ died, I Cor. 1:30.
By Ken Wimer, Pastor