I watched the "Son of God" this week. In ~135 minutes the movie compressed the life of Jesus while he was on the earth for a little over 30 years. The narrative was presented from the PoV of one of Jesus' disciples - the Apostle John. The film began with John as well as ended with John, on the Island of Patmos where he was exiled until his death in the late first century A.D.. It also provided an apocalyptic foretaste as the Book of Revelation has been attributed to John as well.
Although it was supposedly John's account, there were gleanings from the writers of the Synoptic Gospels; e.g. Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23. I suppose watching a 2-hr movie could be quicker than reading 21 chapters of Scriptures for some people. It would certainly be visually entertaining. Alas barring some additions and some omissions by the movie purveyors, and to coin a phrase/book by Rich Stearns: "The Hole in our Gospel," here lies my disconcertment. There's a hole in the movie.
The movie gave a travelog of the beautiful landscape of the Holy Land (Galilee, Jerusalem). It presented snippets of where Jesus had walked, some of the things Jesus had done and said, some of the people Jesus had met and confronted. Since the Gospel according to John (which scholars believe was written while John was at Ephesus) dwelled much on Jesus' miracles, the movie highlighted some of them. So we can see some of the What-Who-Where-When, and How Jesus lived and died! But Why? Why did Jesus come - the Son of God Incarnate? Why did Jesus live on earth? And WHY did Jesus die? In short, where is the good news in the movie? It was bad news, then sad news. Is the movie supposed to be apocalyptic and we have to wait for the Alpha and the Omega to return?
Why was there no mention of sin? What happened to some of the most powerful words that Jesus said which John had recorded in chapter 3?
There have been both positive and not-so-positive reviews of the movie. Just like the co-quel to this movie, viz. "The Bible," the Christian movie purveyors told the stories in docudramatic form. They accomplished their goal to motivate ppo to pursue more; e.g. go to church, spiritual speak. However may we not stop at the movie but go back to the Bible. Read, ruminate, digest the Word of God, for we cannot live by bread nor movie alone.
As we enter this season of Lent, may we look forward to celebrate the Easter morn, to praise and give glory to the living Word. God is NOT dead.