The Life of Christ

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Synopsis

The story of Jesus’ life as told by the apostle John, narrated by Christopher Plummer.

Dove Review

Here is a splendid movie, inspiring and scriptural, and based on the Gospel of John. The distinctive voice of Christopher Plummer is heard as narrator throughout the film, and Henry Ian Cusick does a commendable job as Jesus, giving us a reverent but at times smiling Jesus, who can handily use a whip and drive out the moneychangers from His Father’s temple when they make profit a priority.

The film focuses on the major events of the Gospel of John, including Jesus’ first miracle in turning the water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana. His teachings are incorporated into the film, not just His miracles. He teaches that if the temple (of His body) were destroyed, He would raise it again in three days, which baffles many of the religious leaders. He also speaks of salvation coming from the Jews to the Samaritan woman at the well. And He speaks of the living water that only He has.

One of the best scenes of the film is when Jesus walks on the water to His disciples in their boat as the storm is raging at sea. It’s an impressive scene.

He also heals a lame man at Bethesda, not to mention a blind man who washes his eyes out at the pool of Siloam. Indeed, the nearly three-hour movie moves briskly along, as it contains the events of John’s gospel and is filled with various miracles and teachings. When He teaches that His followers must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, many do not perceive the spiritual application He is making — and they no longer follow Him. But many still do.

We see the woman accused of adultery and Jesus is asked if she should be stoned or not. He gives the wonderful answer, “Whichever one of you has committed no sin, may be the first to cast a stone at her.” One by one, the eldest to the youngest, walk away! The references are based on the Good News Bible.

Also included in this stimulating and motivating film is the raising of Lazarus from his tomb, after he has been dead for four days. The accompanying music is also dramatic and appropriate.

Jesus shows His servant’s heart when He washes the disciples’ feet. When Peter says Jesus will not wash his feet, Jesus tells him that whoever doesn’t allow Him to wash their feet is not His disciple. Peter says he can wash his hands and head too! Jesus tells him the feet are sufficient.

The film’s climax is Jesus being arrested, whipped, and condemned to die on the cross. Happily, it ends with His resurrection and His appearing to the disciples afterward. A nice pitch is made at the conclusion of the film for those who don’t know Christ to accept Him into their hearts and lives.

Due to a few bloody scenes of Jesus’ whipping, crucifixion, and a spear being cast into His side, after death, we are awarding our Dove seal to the film for Ages 12+. The violent scenes are few and not gratuitous. The film merits the seal due to its wonderful telling of the life of Jesus through the writings of the Apostle John.

The Dove Take

This is a wonderful film, an enjoyable viewing experience, as well as a great educational tool to show non-believers the life of the Master.

Content Description

Faith: A strong telling of the events of the Gospel of John.
Other: None
Sex: It’s mentioned a woman was caught in adultery.
Language: None
Violence: Jesus is whipped and seen with stripes and blood, and He bleeds from the crown of thorns; three are crucified and blood is seen on them; a spear is cast into Jesus’ side to make sure He is dead, and blood and water seep out of the wound.
Drugs: The drinking of wine in just a few scenes; water is turned into wine.
Nudity: Shirtless men are seen in a few of the movie’s scenes.
Other: None

Info

Company: Cinedigm
Director: Philip Saville
Genre: Biography Drama
Runtime: 180 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Ed C.