Good Friday Activities

Today is the day we celebrate Christ’s conviction, scourging, and execution. Celebrate is the correct word. Two thousand years of Hebrew prophecies indicated that the messiah would would be put to death for speaking the truth.

I finally watched Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ" this week. I had to laugh. It is not a funny movie, but the year’s separation from the ignorant blather leading up to its release seems so funny in retrospect. I read a dozen previews from film critics, theologians, and even sociologists written before I or they saw the movie. Their conclusions were uniform:

* The movie was anti-Semitical and would unleash a torrent of hate crimes against Jews.
* The movie was unnecessarily violent and would unleash a torrent of killing for the fun of it.
* Mel Gibson was irresponsible for presenting only Christ's final day on earth instead concentrating on His messages of love, peace, and forgiveness.

On the first two counts, they were simply and irrefutably wrong, much like the Democrat platform, Kerry's campaign, and everything Howard Dean has ever thought, said, or considered. They don't talk about those "predictions" anymore. Nor do they talk about the third point, which is more a matter of opinion--sort of like a neo-Nazi criticizing the Final Days of the Third Reich because the director left out all of Hitler's beautiful paintings.

I watched the movie late one night when I had trouble falling asleep. Powerful images, exquisite photography throughout. What struck me most, though, is how indelibly the details of Christ’s passion are etched into the mind.

Having grown up Catholic and attending 15.5 years of Catholic schools, including college, I am familiar with the Passion story, of course. But even though we Catholics read the Passion at Mass every Palm Sunday, it took Gibson’s film for me to memorize the sequence of events and the names of the key participants. (Sad, I know, but I just kind of mumble the words along with everybody else.)

Now that the liberal hysteria over the movie is part of liberalism’s pathetic history, today is a fine day to watch a fantastic story of sacrifice, love, brutality, and redemption. The movie is not nearly as violent or bloody as most reviewers indicated, and I strongly recommend it for any age. (It is far less violent than many video games recommended for small children.) If you don’t go to Good Friday services, perhaps you can hold your own, somewhat secular service at home by watching the greatest sacrifice ever made.

And read this fine piece from NRO

NewsMax has a story on Terri’s Passion

Dean’s World offers two entries that everyone should read: God’s People The Gospel According to Luke.

MSNBC looks at the latest archeological test of the Biblical account of the crucifiction. Turns out the Gospels may have been more accurate than 20th century science.