Memories of a classic film on the life and death of Christ bring forth moving reflections on the wonderful gift of love and salvation which God has bestowed on us all. This Good Friday, let us contemplate the immeasurable love which God has for each of us, that He chose to die on the cross for our sins, that we may join Him in peace and joy forever.
The most influential movie regarding the Gospel, at least in my ‘B.C.’ (Before Christ) young life, was this:
Back in the 1960s, King of Kings came to the screen. Jeffrey Hunter, a dark-haired handsome young man with piercing blue eyes, played the role of Jesus Christ.
I remember sitting in our house on one Good Friday. I had showered and washed my hair, mopping the water up with a turban twist towel. All I could do was cry and cry.
Being a teenager, I was a bit conscious of my blubbering and kept the noise level down. I was brokenhearted and deeply touched at the Gospel come to life.
My towel mopped up tears without ceasing.
Jesus was stoic and “opened not His mouth” through the cruel, inhumane punishment he was subject to. I, on the other hand, was screaming silently in abject terror and horror at what my Jesus suffered.
The Holy Spirit was revealing God to me.
Another layer of reaching out with such infinite love. Hollywood, the most self-indulgent bunch of people walking on the face of the earth, had put His story to film and brought it to life. Those were more tolerant times regarding Christianity, of course. Ask Mel Gibson what he faced when working toward and through The Passion of the Christ!
As I remember the impact King of Kings had upon me that afternoon, I remember being incensed at the thought that anyone could possibly call the day He died ‘Good Friday’. How could they?
Now I know why. He took EVERYTHING that was bad and miserable about ME and made it Good. Only His Blood could forgive and take away my sins; there was no other way.
The Lamb of God, slain from the foundations of the world, was going to be enough to save me from hell, eternal separation from Him. Had you or I had taken His place, it would have been woefully inadequate, even though well-intentioned.
He was the ONLY spotless one. The ONLY sinless one. The only truly GOOD One.
From Sorrow to Joy
My old Pastor used to say to me, “Leonie, injustice is like waving a red flag in front of a bull to you.” And I still rage against the machine in this regard.
How was I to know that this injustice produced righteous justice? Salvation and restoration became available to mankind, once and for all.
Greater Love has no one than this: that a man should lay down his life for his friends.
Jeffrey Hunter died not long after the making of King of Kings. I pray He came to really know Jesus personally, and his biography signifies the chances of it being very likely.
Because his portrayal of my Saviour certainly impacted my life forever, I remember that Good Friday with bittersweet memories of a young girl crying her heart out in a towel. Tears of grief became tears of repentance, then tears of joy. How Great Thou Art!
CALVARY Music: Ivan Robson, Lyrics: Leonie Robson. 1987
Calvary, on a dark April day
While the cold wind it blows,
Thunder roars, the sun holds back its rays.
See Him, hanging there on that tree,
By the palms of His hands,
And His feet, ripped with spikes of steel.
Tortured, by the lash, flaying skin
And His head crowned with thorns,
Inches long, His skull they gash and pierce.
Weeping, all His loved ones they grieve,
Watch as life slips away
From the Man they followed and believed.
In His dying moments, spoke this sinless Man
Prayed and asked His Father,
Forgive those killing Him!
Look at His face, His loving eyes
He saw the truth they all hid inside
He knew them all, their every sin
And so they sought to silence Him.
So, He was rejected, accused of blasphemy
By all those priests and rulers
Who claimed that they knew God!
And so He died, in anguished pain
His life of good seemed was lived in vain
God’s miracles, wrought by His hand
Now lost in hate, at a man’s command…
First flickers of sunlight, breaking through the trees,
A still and heavy calmness fills the air;
The tomb in which they laid Him stood open to the day,
But Jesus, no Jesus wasn’t there! He wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there…
He’s risen, He’s risen!
He defeated the powers of death and hell
He truly is the Son of God, why couldn’t they all tell?
They waited for His coming, and yet they didn’t know Him,
Or His love.
He’s risen, He’s living
Died on earth but broke death’s chains
His purpose completed, victory form sin and pain!
Lamb of God,
Son of God,
Prince of Peace,
King of Kings,
Jesus Our Lord!
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