Movie Review

Killing Jesus

By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries

Please note that this is a review of the movie Killing Jesus, not the book.

To start, let me say this. One thing I loved about the movie was the actor who portrayed Jesus. He was actually Middle Eastern. Of all the Jesus movies out there, the actor in Killing Jesus was likely the closest to what Jesus actually looked like. Now, onto the actual review...

It is not the purpose of this review to point out all the biblical inaccuracies in the Killing Jesus movie. There are many. For example, in the Bible, Pilate orders that Jesus' tomb be made secure (Matthew 27:65). In the movie, Pilate refuses Caiaphas's request to secure the tomb with guards. In the Bible, Judas gives the money back to the priests and hangs himself (Matthew 27:5-8). In the movie, Judas uses the money to buy some rope from a shepherd, which he then uses to hang himself.

Far more than what the movie gets wrong, my main problem with Killing Jesus is what it leaves out.

According to the authors, the purpose of Killing Jesus, both the book and the movie, is to present a historical account of Jesus' life with a special focus on the political conspiracies that led to the crucifixion of Jesus. Apparently as a result of this purpose, the miraculous aspects of Jesus' life are severely minimized. Only two miracles of Jesus are portrayed in Killing Jesus, with two other individuals referring to other miracles (one of them being Herod Antipas mockingly asking Jesus to perform another miracle).

More important than the miracles Jesus performed being virtually absent, the virgin birth is not mentioned and Jesus' resurrection is left nebulous. Both Mary and Joseph are seemingly presented as Jesus' biological parents. After His death and burial, a group of people go to His tomb and find it empty, but the resurrected Jesus does not make an appearance. The two miracles that bookend Jesus' life and powerfully declare His true identity are vague, at best.

Further, in Killing Jesus, Jesus is confused about who He is. It requires some convincing from John the Baptist for Jesus to even think He has a special relationship with God. The Bible nowhere describes Jesus as being uncertain about His identity.

Jesus begins His ministry preaching a message of love and forgiveness. Then, when John the Baptist is arrested, Jesus declares that message to be the wrong one and instead begins to preach conflict. Later, for no apparent reason, Jesus goes back to preaching love. The Bible nowhere describes Jesus as being uncertain about what His message is supposed to be.

And that is the problem with attempting to create a purely "historical" account of Jesus' life. If you remove or diminish the miraculous, the "Jesus" that is left is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible is God incarnate, born of a virgin, who performed many clear and undeniable miracles, who taught a powerful and consistent message, who was crucified by the Romans at the demands of the Jews, and who was resurrected from the dead and then appeared bodily to the disciples and hundreds of others.

By focusing on the political conspiracies behind the scenes and the relationships between Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod Antipas, Killing Jesus tells an intriguing story, but misses the point.

The death of Jesus Christ was not a political conspiracy. It wasn't the Jews or Romans who nailed Jesus to the cross. It wasn't a conspiracy among Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod Antipas that killed Jesus. Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf. It was our sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. We are the ones who killed Jesus.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Current-Issues  | Jesus-Christ  | Reviews-Critiques

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Published 4-6-15