On Monday evening my church showed the movie “Risen.” It wasn’t in the theaters very long where I live. I think a week if that, so I didn’t get a chance to watch it till Monday. I never thought much about what it was like for the Roman soldiers that was present during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
I have a hard time imagining what it must have been like for those who were living during the time of Jesus Christ. There isn’t a doubt that things were much different then. What was it like to witness what happened from the time Jesus had the nails was hammered into his hands and feet? I can’t begin to fathom what it must have been like to watch a man without sin being nailed to the cross. I have always had this sick feeling when I think about what it must have been like for Jesus. As the nails are hammered into Jesus’ hands and feet. I can’t handle watching scenes like that. The reason why I don’t watch them is because all I can imagine is my hands holding the nails while pounding them into Jesus’ body. It’s because of my sins that He died the most horrendous death of all.
Clavius is a Roman Tribune who is serving Pontius Pilate. He was ordered to guard the body of Jesus Christ. Clavius is dumbfounded and visibly shaken after he comes face to face with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Clavius looks up to Jesus after Jesus’ side was pierced to make sure He was dead.
This part of the movie kinda reminded me of an experience JJ had at the Catholic Church where I live. We were at a special program and we were sitting up front. My grandson was around 6 at the time. He has never been in a Catholic Church before. We were sitting up front enjoying the music, but JJ was curled up in a ball and covering his eyes. I thought he was horsing around or very bored. We would try to keep him quiet and not distract the singers, but it was a losing battle.
After the musical program was finished we took JJ aside to ask him what he was doing and basically he was no being respectful to those who wanted to listen to the music and it was disrespectful to those singing. When we asked him why he was doing what he was doing, he said “he was scared.” I had no clue why until he said that he was afraid because of how Jesus was hanging on the cross with blood coming from his eyes, hands and feet. He wanted to run and hide because he was so frightened.
Clavius came face to face with Jesus Christ. He saw the blood and pain that was coming from Jesus Christ. It was at that moment that Calvius realized this wasn’t an ordinary man. This man was special. The expression on Clavius’ face was similar to the expression JJ had in a sense. As Clavius looked up to look directly into Jesus’ eyes with blood pouring down His face, it make him uneasy and fearful and yet there was a connection of sorts. He didn’t have to say anything since it was written all over his face and demeanor.
Clavius was ordered to oversee the intombing of Jesus. Two of his soldiers that were keeping watch ended up passing out because they were drinking too much. Clavius doesn’t believe in Jesus or anything that other than some god that he prayers to. Pontius Pilate was embarrassed because those who were suppose to be guarding the tomb has failed. Pontius Pilate orders Clavius to find the body of Jesus Christ and to interrogate Jesus’ followers.
There was a number of places in this movie that gave me chills. Clavius was searching for Mary Magdalene. As he followed her through the upper room, he encounters Jesus Christ sitting there with his disciples. Clavius is obviously shaken to the core. I totally get why he would be in shock. “I have seen two things which cannot reconcile,” he says. “A man dead without question, and that same man alive again.”
When Clavius, and Jesus’ disciples finally got to where they were going in Galilee and he spent the night there on the rocks. Clavius went to where Jesus was sitting and Clavius sat next to Him and this is a part of the conversation that struck me the most.
JESUS: What frightens you?
CLAVIUS: Being wrong. Wagering an eternity on the wrong answer.
JESUS: Know then.
(I think that’s what he said. I missed the line. Either way, he didn’t say anything.)
JESUS: What is it you seek? Clarity? Peace? A day without death?
CLAVIUS: *crying as he nods his head in agreement*
God knows each of us so deeply and intimately and he is always there, with open arms. I find it amazing how God uses those like Clavius and others who we would least expect to do great things to advance His kingdom. It is truly amazing how time and time again, God uses the ones that we least expect to do some of the greatest work for His kingdom. God was able to speak to Clavius’ heart by presenting Himself, through His son Jesus.
I just want to finish this post up by saying that this was an awesome movie. I don’t know if I would take a young child since there is blood and gore. This is one of those movies that will reach those who have doubts about Jesus. This is probably the first show I have watched that is from the perspective of a non-believer.
At the end of the movie they have it where Clavius was taking off his ring. I would think that this was the last bit of evidence that he was once a Roman Tribune and serving Pontious Pilot. It was at this point where Clavius was leaving everything behind so he could follow God. The man he was sitting with asked him if he really beleived in Jesus and he said, “I believe, and can never be the same.” God is changing lives every day, and I know for myself I am a different person because of God.
God knows each of us so deeply and intimately and he is always there, with open arms.