I just saw the Risen Movie directed by Kevin Reynolds. It is a must see and I definitely recommend going to see it. The movie was written from the perspective of a non-believer, a Roman tribune. The subtitle is ‘the most important manhunt in history.’ I think the writers and directors did an amazing job with this movie. They included biblical details that I wanted to point out to you, so when you watch the movie you can have a deeper understanding of Jesus’s death and resurrection. I also included the bible verses that coincide with the movie scenes.
12 Things to Pay Attention to when Watching Risen-
1. Not all of the disciples, Jesus’s followers were at the crucifixion- This later becomes important
2. Pilate tells the tribune to break the legs of those being crucified- This is important because it is soon to be passover. Because it is passover there are to be no dead hanging bodies once passover starts. Pilate orders to have the mens’ legs broken to quicken their deaths, so their bodies can be taken down from the cross. You will notice the legs of the two criminals are broken, but Jesus’ legs were not. This fulfills a prophecy that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb. “He was a pure and perfect sacrificial Lamb (1 Peter 1:19). “Not one of his bones will be broken,” (John 19:36). In the old testament a sacrificial lamb was to be without blemish or have any broken bones. A sacrificial lamb was a sacrifice for the atonement of a person’s sins. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, sinless, perfect and not a broken bone in his body. He is the lamb of God. A sacrifice for the atonement of our sins.
3. Joseph Arimethea asks for Jesus’ body- (Read John 19:38-42) Joseph goes before Pilate to ask for Jesus’s body. This is out of the ordinary because he is not a close relative. In fact he is part of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Priests. He should have rebuked Jesus, but instead was asking for his body to prepare it for burial. This is important because it fulfills a prophecy in Isaiah 53:9 “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” He had been crucified with criminals but then with the rich in death. His dead body was prepared by Joseph and Nicodemus two wealthy men. I found this to be ironic considering not one of the disciples asked for his body whom were close to Jesus but two Jewish priests who secretly loved him asked for his body who had everything to lose by doing this.
4. Jesus was given the burial of a king- (Matthew 27:57-61, John 19:38-42) You will notice the two criminal bodies were thrown into a pit of other corpses. This is a typical burial for a criminal. Even though Jesus was crucified as a criminal he was given a burial of a king by Joseph and Nicodemus. He was buried in the Joseph’s own personal tomb, which only the wealthy were able to purchase. No one else had been in this tomb and yet Joseph wanted to give Jesus not only his own tomb but a proper burial one that covered his body with rich mixture of myrrh and aloes (75 pounds of it!). Back then this was considered very pricey and fit only for a king!
5. The Sanhedrin ask Pilate to have Jesus’s tomb sealed- (Read Matthew 27:62-66) “Go make the tomb as secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard (Matthew 27:66). I find it ironic how the Sanhedrin asked Pilate to have the stone sealed so the prophecy that Jesus proclaimed of rising after 3 days would prevent it from being fulfilled. They wanted to make sure that none of the disciples would try to steal Jesus’ body in the middle of the night and claim that he was resurrected. By having the stone seal the tomb and securing and sealing with the ropes and the king’s seal, confirmed even more that no man could have moved the stone and cut through the ropes. “There was a violent earthquake for an angel of the lord came down from heaven and going to the tomb rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow (Matthew 28:2-3).” The Sanhedrin made the two guards tell the story (of the disciples taking his body) in hopes others would not believe in Jesus’ resurrection.
6. The first people to know Jesus had risen- Mary and Mary Magdalene (Matthew 28) Mary Magdalene was crucial in relaying the message to the disciples, the angel told her, that Jesus was going ahead of them to Galilee.
7. Jesus shows Thomas His wounds- (Read John 20:24-29) When the tribune discovers Jesus and the disciples, Thomas comes running in to see Jesus. He is the last of the disciples who has not seen him after he had risen. Here Jesus shows Thomas His wounds so he too would believe.
8. You will notice when the manhunt starts the man giving information to the tribune says there are only 11 disciples. Read Matthew 27:1-5 and discover why there are now only 11 instead of the original 12.
9. In the beginning of the movie in the scene of the Roman bath when tribune is bathing with Pilate. Pilate asks him what is it that he desires? He says peace and one day where there is no more death. Notice when he says this again in the movie and whom he says this to.
10. Jesus and the miraculous catch of Fish- You will see this scene in the movie John 21
11. Why does Jesus say to Peter “Do you love me and feed my lambs” 3 times? Peter as you remember was the one Jesus predicted who would deny him 3 times and then a rooster would crow (Luke 22:54-62). In the scene where Jesus asks Peter 3 times “Do you love me?” he is asking him the same amount of times that he denied Jesus. It is Jesus’ way of redeeming Peter making sure he loved him, for when He left that he would never deny him again. He then says “Feed my lambs.” Why do you think he says this? Just as Jesus was our sacrificial lamb, we are his children making us lambs of God. He was telling his disciples to feed his lambs by feeding them the new message of the resurrection of Christ, feeding them the gospel (John 21:15-19).
12. The Great Commission- (Read Matthew 28:16-20) You will see this scene in the movie. Read this passage to give you a better understanding of the scene. These are the last words Jesus speaks before he ascends into heaven.
Am I missing anything? What would you have added to this list of what to pay attention to?
I hope you all get a chance to see this movie and take a friend to! I was so happy to see such biblical detail in this movie and having read these passages will give you a deeper reference when watching the movie. Enjoy! What did you think of the movie? What was your favorite part? Leave your comments below.