The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson, claims to have depicted the final twelve hours of Jesus’ life on earth.

The movie, made in 2004, opened to much critique and disapproval for the graphic nature of the film. The film presents an artistic vision of the story, told over numerous scenes to include flashbacks. The flashbacks take the viewer back to early stories of Christ, as seen by Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Peter, Judas and others. These portions of the film are above and beyond the final twelve hours.

The final hours of Christ’s life are described within the four gospels. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have varying viewpoints on the occurrences leading up to the crucifixion of Christ. The film itself, therefore, cannot be an exact telling of each book, as it would have to have many versions. Some books agree right down to the wording, others simply graze over the topics.

The movie presents and amalgamation of the four books, relying on the most widely held beliefs as the versions to pick. The question is how accurate was the portrayal?The movie depicts Judas going to the Jew Priests and offered Christ to them for 30 silver pieces. Although the book of John does not describe the exact scene of Judas meeting the priests, the other three do so, and seem to match the telling of the movie with exact detail (Matthew 26:14, Mark 14:10, Luke 22:3). In the film, during the Last Supper, Jesus tells Peter that: “before the cock crows, you will deny me three times. ” This scene is depicted in extremely similar wording with Matthew 26:34, Mark 14:29, Luke 22:34 and John 13:38, all of which show Peter in disbelief.All of the books show Judas signifying Jesus to the soldiers with a kiss on his cheek.

In the film, Jesus says, “You betray the son of man, with a kiss? ” This is reiterated in Luke 22:48 using slightly different wording. The general idea is present in all but the Book of John. While Christ is praying in the film, we see him rise and walk to the sleeping disciples. He says to Peter, “Could you not stay awake with me one hour? ” This line is word for word from Matthew 26:40.

It is also told in Mark 14:37 and Luke 22:46, although in different wording.All four books and the movie recant the tale of the soldier’s ear being cut off, Jesus healing him and asking all present to lay down their swords for, “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword” (Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50 and John 18:10). While Jesus is being taken to the Jewish court in the middle of the night, we see Peter’s tale of denial come true. All four books share this story in one form or another (Matthew 26:70, Mark 14:68, Luke 22:55 and John 18:17).The book of John recounts Pilate asking the people gathered whether they will have Jesus of Nazareth returned to them (18:40). This portion is not found in the other books, but the film does use it with the Jewish head priest asking for Barabbas.

As the crowd begins to sway, the Jewish priest is adamant for Barabbas’s release and the people follow suit. The trial of Christ passes from Pilate to Herod, back to Pilate in the film. This version is only told by Luke 23:8. The others do not mention it.

Pilate decides to chastise Christ, and then free him.This punishment is drawn out for almost an hour in the film. It is not represented in the bible, an imaginative representation by Gibson, et al. The Book of John simply states that Pilate had him flogged (19:1). During the actual carrying of the cross, Jesus falters and can go on no further. Simon, a non-believer, is found in the crowd and told to help by the Roman soldiers.

This portion is not shared in the Book of John, but it can be found in Matthew 26:32, Mark 15:21 and Luke 24:32. While on the cross, Jesus is portrayed in the film as having a thief to either side of him.With the exception of the Book of John, which does not mention the crucifixion at all, we find the thieves taunting Christ to have his Holy Father save him from the cross if he is so mighty. Luke 23:39 guides the movie as the only book to mention the criminal who tells Christ to let himself down as surely he does not deserve the punishment as this criminal feels he himself does.

The Gospel tells the tale of Joseph of Arimathea asking for permission to, and in some cases simply taking, Christ’s body from the cross and wrapping it in white linen (Matthew 27:57, Mark 15:46, Luke 23:53 and John 19:38).The movie foregoes this portion of the bible and simply shows the body being lowered to the waiting Mary. The resurrection is depicted in the film as shadows of the rock moving from the front of the cave; Christ’s awaiting face illuminated. We see the naked man rise with holes in the palms of his hands and his body made whole again. The remainder of the gospel is not told in the movie.

Again, the movie’s intention was to portray Christ’s final twelve hours. It does, however lead the viewer to remember Christ was risen from the grave.Overall, the movie made a fair attempt to give a rounded view of the gospel and Jesus’s last hours. The cinematography varied according to what was happening, showing the creator’s bias in the film. Dark, shadowy scenes illustrated Christ wrestling with his path. Lighted golden scenes were used for hedonism and judgment.

Brilliant whites showed Christ going to God and saving the world. The books of the bible all depict differing stories of the events, comprising a distinct, complete telling.