Risen harkens to the good ole days of Hollywood Bible stories.
In these days when Hollywood is putting out Bible centric stories that would make even the casual Bible reader throw their shoe at the screen (Noah, Exodus etc.) it is encouraging to see a movie that tells the Biblical account of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ while at the same time taking some artistic license to tell the story from an outsiders point of view.
Risen is yet another great movie made by Sony Picture’s Affirm Films Picture company (War Room, Courageous, Fireproof) that is sensitive to those who will pay money to see a product that doesn’t compromise Biblical truths and values.
Risen tells the story of a Roman centurion named Clavius (played by Joseph Fiennes) who is given the thankless task by Pontius Pilot to recover the body of the crucified, so called Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Clavius is a war hero and right hand man to Pilot and suffice it to say, he is not thrilled with his latest assignment. Clavius is a religious man who prays to Mars for guidance and favor but it doesn’t take long to realize that the story the guards, the Jewish leaders and Pilot tells doesn’t quite line up with what his investigation is revealing.
Risen does a very good job, telling the resurrection story from an outsiders perspective while revealing the passion, purpose and person of Jesus. The story chronicles the journey of a non-Jewish, unbelieving outsider who goes from absolute confidence, to questioning obedience and finally into resolute faith when faced with the undeniable truth before him.
Welcome back to the good ole days of Hollywood when Bible stories were told to inform the viewer and not indoctrinate or confuse them. If you are the person who will run home and try to find Clavius in your New King James Bible, don’t waste your time. But just like Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments and the Robe, this movie adds color, depth and entertainment to a very well-known story without detracting from the gospel message.
Believe me when I say this because the gospel is my life.
Chuck Gipson is the Strategy Team Leader for Latin America and Caribbean for The Jesus Film Project