I’ll never forget: I was newly married, and we went on a date to see the movie on opening night, Ash Wednesday. There’s nothing hand-holding about watching The Passion of the Christ together. And there was very little popcorn-eating during that movie. Nothing romantic about it, even though the entire movie was about Love—a love so strong. A love so shaking. A love so life-taking and life-giving.
Do you remember the first time you watched The Passion of the Christ? Do you remember the endless numbers of lashes? Do you remember how alive his eyes were? Do you remember Mary’s face? The people in the streets? The staggering? The Roman Soldiers? The disciples? The emotion on the faces all the people involved in His story?
I can still feel how hard it was to breathe in certain moments.
And how how exhausted I felt afterwards.
And how I immediately decided to give up eating meat that Lent, because of the lashes—I had no appetite for red meat after all those lashes.
I can still see it today, even though I’ve never watched the movie a second time. The scenes return to mind nearly every Holy Week, as His steps are retraced through the Christian calendar.
This particular year, I feel the need for a reminder. I feel the need for freshness and revitalization. Maybe I’ll watch the movie again, slowly, bit by bit between now and Easter, retracing.
Maybe you will join me?