What the Passion is Really About

Conservative political blogger Andrew Sullivan had a quote about what the passion of Jesus Christ is really about. He sets it in the context of Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, but I think it’s valid about the passion in general.

That’s why I felt so passionately about Mel Gibson’s attempt to depict Christ’s passion as primarily about the violence inflicted by others on Jesus. In fact, it is and was primarily about Jesus’ decision to accept the violence without resistance because he wanted to show that only non-violence can ever truly, deeply defeat violence. Gibson never gave us the Gospel teaching to make sense of this, which is why the film failed so profoundly as a Christian movie.

The talk about “defeating violence” builds on the theme of Sunday’s sermon about Christ the Victor. Non-violence was the only way to defeat not only violence, but sin, death, and the demonic. I believe this to be true, the question is why. My thought at this point is that only non-violence can defeat them because only non-violence is truly opposed to them, violence can be co-opted by them, non-violence cannot.