Last evening Dave and I sat in a sparsely populated theater watching the new Son of God movie. We had been given movie tickets for Christmas from our children, and it was the first chance we’ve had to celebrate our February 14th anniversary. For the first hour or so, I pondered the comparison between The Gospel of John, starring Ian Cusick, which is a favorite gospel movie of ours, and the new Son of God production. As the movie shifted towards the last supper and the impending betrayal of Jesus, I found myself captivated by the human element portrayed in this interpretation. We see more interactions with Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdeline traveling with the disciples, as well as Simon Peter and Judas. Creative liberties were taken to include these interactions of course, but they definitely intrigued me. The scriptures clearly depict that Jesus was relational. Restoration cannot be accomplished or lived out without relationships.
On the big screen, I had to close my eyes at the scene of Jesus receiving 39 lashes. (Jesus was played by Diogo Morgado, who has been criticized as being too hot” to play Jesus) Mary behind a gate weeping as she watched her son beaten bloody had Dave and I both in tears. The reality of the pain that was felt by a very human mother, having given birth to a very human son, who had to watch him die a horrible death, hit us both hard.
It was a stark reminder of the intense pain – the trauma – that everyone who loved Jesus as son, brother, master, Messiah, or friend, experienced at his suffering. Love is pain. Relationship is pain. It is also the most enjoyable pain we can know in this life and the one Jesus modeled as the most important. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love the stranger in your midst. Love your wife. Love God. Love.
Henri Nouwen expressed the suffering of relationship when he wrote, “Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”
Jesus was, is, and always will be, the perfect and ultimate example of our Wounded Healer – the only one who can bring complete restoration to our souls. The One who models perfect love, and perfect love casts out the fear of pain in relationships. We won’t attain the fullness of it in this life, but we hold the promise of it in our bodies, souls, and spirits.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Is.53:5.
He bore it all for us. He took it. He carried it. He owned it.
For us. For me. For you. For my children, and my grandchildren. For my neighbor. For the person I love, and the person I don’t love so much. For the ones I want to hang out, and the ones I try to avoid. For the holy and the unholy, for the pious and the irreligious, for the seeker and runner. The rich, the poor, the well, the sick, the happy, the sad, the meek, the bold, me, you, them. The Son of God movie-goer, or the ones who choose not to go.
Restoration. He owned it. All for love.