My husband suggested we watch The Passion of the Christ last night, and I haven't seen it since I watched it in the theater in 2004 and snotted and heaved my way through most of two hours in a room full of strangers, and haven't drummed up the desire to go through that again. But I said yes.
Netflix categorized the movie in three words: "Violent, dark, controversial." And I laughed on the inside, in a humorless way, at the accuracy of their description. Isn't that the story of the last hours of Jesus' life and death? To portray it any other way, all cleaned up and PG and kid-friendly, to make it palatable and easy to watch with a big bowl of popcorn, that's not the story at all.
I watched the character of Jesus pulverized on screen, skin shredded with nearly unrecognizable face, hair dripping blood and sweat, body broken and stumbling and weak and yet more strong than anyone I've ever seen. My heart swelled with love the way it swells with blood as I sat in all my brokenness and watched him take it all upon his body, rivers of crimson flowing down a tree. His eyes, cloudy red, nearly swollen shut, pierced my soul and I had to tear my gaze away.
The movie finished and we sat in the dark living room and talked in a hush and went to bed with hearts heavy. We'd just watched him die and I wondered how it felt for them, his mother and closest friends, to go to bed that night, not knowing he would rise.
And friends, I've never been so relieved to wake up on Easter morning. We woke up washed in sun and my first thought was, "He is risen!" and my heart, it stirred in its tomb.
At church, all through the liturgy and worship and preaching, I sat a woman in love with a God I've never seen and still I've known him in all my senses for a very long time. And the words of our preacher sounded like Jesus calling to his friend, Lazarus, "Come forth!" Except he talked of living the resurrection life, every day.
The tears trickled out from the grave.
But how? How do I live the resurrection when my insides seem to be dying a slow death?
I don't know that I heard any other answer but the whisper to my soul: You can, because I rose.
I went forward and tore a piece of bread and took a cup of wine and sat down in my pew, and I savored resurrection life sliding down my throat into my body with salty tears, nourishing every part, this scandalous feast of the broken, risen one I love.