“We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.” (Romans 6:9)
Jesus has risen! It is a joyous moment for all Christians on earth, that yesterday and following the 50 days of celebration, Jesus was resurrected from the dead and is coming to give the Holy Spirit.
However, this wasn’t the same 2,000 years ago. We all know how his disciples and followers felt – scared, doubtful, lost. But what about the people who crucified him?
The recent movie, Risen, talks about the Romans’ point of view and how they had planned to handle the situation, making sure that Jesus does not rise from the dead and that his disciples do not take his body away.
To my surprise, the movie follows the account of what happened in the bible quite accurately: from the appearances of Yeshua (Jesus) to the people and how the women went to the grave and met certain angels. Apart from that, it also shows a conversion, not of Saul like I initially thought, but of a Roman tribune, Calvius.
He attempted to seek the truth – and only the truth. Calvius stood strong when one soldier told him that this “Nazarene was different”, having died in six hours, and the earth shook after his final words “It is finished”. After a long day of battle and having to settle the crucifixions, he goes back to rest only to realised that Pilot has called him again to settle the Jews who requested that this Yeshua was properly kept.
After which, Yeshua disappeared from his tomb and news spread that he has risen from the dead. Once again, Calvius was called to settle this case. He interrogated several of Yeshua’s followers, including apostle Bartholomew, who was hilariously portrayed and Mary Magdalene, and released both on the account that they were a little mad.
He was slowly trying to find out who this Nazarene was, and what made him so different. He was against Yeshua, being a Roman, and a non-believer. Yet, he was constantly reminded of Yeshua’s face in his dream and thoughts that he just had to find out more even though he was told to be sent off somewhere else. He was almost like doing ancient CSI if you ask me.
It’s interesting to see how the director, Kevin Reynolds, managed to incorporate the Roman tribune’s character into the whole resurrection story. Though we can’t really figure out what happens to Calvius at the end, we do know that there was indeed a conversion in him. I love how he kept most of the story similar to the bible, but with an added character. Though Calvius’ character is fictional, it also kind of shows how we attempt to seek out for bigger things like he did – peace and “a day without death” – but finds Jesus in our lives and realise that only He can give us that.
It’s exactly what the trailer says: The most important event in human history through the eyes of a non-believer. It offers a fresh angle, which was why I decided to watch it, and really shows how Jesus works in everyone!
Risen is still showing in the cinemas in Singapore. Catch it before the end of the Easter season!