Three chapters can be accessed by clicking their titles below:
The History of the Passion Plays
The Theology of the
The Cross of Christ
Passion of Christ: In Scripture and History
The book has two objectives. The first is to expose the unbiblical teachings
found in Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ. The movie is
largely drawn from Catholic legends and mystical literature that grossly
distort the biblical view of the nature and meaning of Christ’s
atoning sacrifice. Gibson has produced a strict Catholic film with a distinctive
Catholic message derived from Catholic legends and superstitious beliefs.
For example, throughout the movie Mary is portrayed as a co-sufferer with
her Son at the 14 Stations of the Cross in order to function as a co-redeemer.
In accordance with Catholic teachings, in the movie Christ is brutally
and relentlessly tortured from the time of His arrest until His death,
in order to satisfy the demands of divine justice. In other words, for
Catholics, Christ had to suffer the punishment for all the sins ever committed
by mankind in order to satisfy the demands of divine justice. Is this
what the Bible teaches? Are we saved by the intensity of Christ’s
suffering or by His perfect life, sacrifice, and intercession for our
salvation? This important question is discussed at length in the book
The Passion of Christ.
The second objective is to investigate the biblical teachings regarding
the centrality, necessity, and achievements of the Cross. The study shows
that the Cross has both a subjective and an objective dimension. Subjectively,
through the Cross God reveals the depth of His love in being willing to
offer His Son for undeserving sinners.
Objectively, the Cross reveals how God dealt with the objective reality
of sin, not by minimizing its gravity, but by revealing its costliness
in assuming its penalty. God did not cause His Son to suffer the harsh
punishment portrayed in Gibson’s movie to meet the demands of His
own justice, but was willing through His Son to become flesh and suffer
the punishment of our sins in order to redeem us without compromising
His own character.
To understand the achievements of the Cross, I have examined in their
socio-historical content the following five word pictures: propitiation,
redemption, justification, reconciliation, and intercession. These word
pictures take us from the sacrifices in the Temple court (propitiation),
to the price paid for the manumission of the slaves in the marketplace
(redemption), to a law court where a judge pronounces an accused person
“not guilty” (justification), to the renewal of relationships
with family and friends (reconciliation), to Christ’s ministry in
the heavenly sanctuary (intercession). These word pictures represent partial
attempts to capture glimpses of the significance and value of Christ’s
death for our present life and future destiny.