Movie Night: Son of God

for photo source, click image
for photo source, click image

Last night, my husband Tim and I decided to have us a little date night and go watch the Son of God movie on opening night.  My thoughts about it are mixed.  On the one hand, I am thrilled that movies are being produced that aim to reflect biblical truths and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.  On the other hand, however, lies my concern over any such movie in terms of how it accurately (or not so accurately) represents these truths and clearly testifies to the truth of the gospel.   So, while I could tear the Son of God movie apart for its interesting choices in casting, several poorly scripted scenes, and cheap-looking cinematography (can we all give a little grace here, recognizing that movies are very costly to make?!!?), I hesitate to focus so much on these lesser issues.  My biggest issue with it lies in its portrayal of Christ.  Because the true Son of God did not look like that (Isaiah 53:2,3)!  And the true Son of God was zealous for His kingdom, for His people, an element I thought was missing in the film.

Several positive reflections on this movie were the portrayal of Christ’s shattering of all that the religious leaders based their life and salvation upon; the depiction of Christ being the living Word and the Son of God who has authority to forgive sins, as well as the reenactment of His death and resurrection.

Laying aside my critique, I was impacted by this movie.  The visual representation of Christ’s suffering invoked a deep sense of awe and gratitude over my Savior, particularly on the subject of suffering.  He was persecuted, betrayed by one from His own company of men, abandoned by His followers.  In the most intense hour of His suffering, He was completely alone, for the Father turned His back on Christ when He became sin for us (Matt. 27:46, 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:13).  He bore the eternal wrath of God all alone, and He did this for me, one undeserving of such love.

When I reflect on Christ’s suffering and then turn to think on the whole idea of suffering, not just in my own life but all throughout the world; I am reminded of some great and wonderful truths.  First, I am reminded that as long as God {the Sovereign King} is with me, I can endure just about anything.  Because He is in control (Job 42:2, Psalm 135:6, Isaiah 46:9,10)He is with me (Heb. 13:5), He is for me (Rom. 8:31), and I cannot lose Him or this salvation in Him (John 10:28), I know that I can go through any amount of suffering which He allows in my life.  All throughout the Bible we are reminded that suffering in Christian’s lives only intensifies the glory on the other side of heaven.  And this hope that we carry around in our suffering will not disappoint, because God is faithful and will produce for us what He promises.  And what does He promise? Complete restoration of our souls and bodies for those who are found in Him.   So, suffering is something we can rejoice in and walk through, because God {the Sovereign King} is with us and for us.  Secondly, as I remember Christ’s suffering and relate it to my own suffering and others’, the truth of what Tim Keller wrote in his book Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering  resonates in my mind and soul: that, while I may not see any possible good that God is doing through suffering, His allowing of it in my life cannot mean that He does not love me or that He does not understand what I am going through, He who went to the cross for me.  He who bore the greatest kind of suffering in all the world at the hands of injustice, all alone.  He understands.  So, not only is God with me through the suffering, but He understands like no other exactly what I am going through in my suffering.   And because of these two deeply profound and complex truths, suffering in my life and all around the world can be met with hope and joy.*

Was “Son of God” amazing?  No, not in terms of artistry or complete historical accuracy.  But I am thankful for any movie that brings me to remembrance of who Christ is and what He has accomplished for me, and my hopeful expectation is that it will give those who watch it a hunger and thirst for the knowledge of God’s Word, that they may see the beauty of Christ as He has revealed Himself in His Word.  There is no better place to go to for an accurate representation of Who He is than the Word He has given to us!

*For a more detailed (and better) teaching of what suffering means in the lives of believers, I highly recommend Tim Keller’s book!