Saturday, February 28, 2004

More on the Passion. Carol visited the beauty parlor today. She said that the women who work there are young, attractive, Latin, worldly, and her impression is that their morals are "contemporary". But when she walked into the shop today, they were talking about the movie. A young woman who worked on her hair said that she didn't want to go to see the movie, because then she "would have to be good, and I don't want to be good". Carol encouraged her to go.

I hope Carol will have the opportunity to see this young woman again and tell her that you don't have to be good. I hope that the young woman sees the movie, because there is a woman in it with whom she can identify, a woman that keeps as close to Jesus, as he takes the walk, as his own mother.

Isn't it interesting that there are two Marys in the movie and in the gospels, each at opposite moral poles from one another, both keeping him company after the other followers (except John) flee, both loving Jesus, both died for by him, and both redeemed by him. With those two women bracketing womanhood, that pretty much includes every woman in between.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Wednesday, the opening day, the movie sold $26.6 million in tickets; that it was the biggest Wednesday opening ever after "The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King" and "Star Wars:Episode I-The Phantom Menace"; and that the first day take surpassed the entire box-office ticket sales of previous "religious fare" such as "The Last Temptation Christ".

Tomorrow our church is taking over 100 teenagers to the movie. About 40 of them are from our youth ministries group and the rest from the high school. There is a Christian club at the high school known as "the Fight Club" and they promoted our effort over there. We offered free tickets, bus transportation, and a return to our church for pizza and a discussion led by our minister.

I had lunch yesterday with a dear friend of mine, a lawyer who is Jewish. I decided not to bring up the movie, but he did. He asked if I had seen it, and when I told him that I had, he asked me what I thought. He had been to a lecture that I gave years ago on the legal aspects of the trial of Jesus.

(At that lecture, I showed how the trial of Jesus before the Jews was not in compliance with Jewish law, that the prosecutors could not get a conviction, and it was for that reason, at least in part, that they went to Pilate. Thus, I argued, Rome killed Jesus, not the Jews, which, of course, is theologically correct, because Rome represents all of us. The idea that the Jews went to Rome because the Sanhedrin did not have the power to levy capital punishment is demonstrably wrong, because the Sanhedrin later levied capital punishment on Stephen.)

I told my friend that I did not think it anti-Semitic, but I offered to go with him to see it and help him with it. At first he said he didn't want to go, but he kept asking me about it, and then finally said that, yes, maybe he would go to the movie with me "after everything settles down".

Frankly, I don't think things will "settle down". I think we are going to see a worldwide awakening as a result of this movie. But I am hoping and praying that my friend will let me take him to see it.

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