My eyes are burning with fatigue from a busy week of work and fighting a cold. But they will continue to burn a few minutes longer until this burning message gets posted for my readers to view: Please go see the movie “Risen.”
It is a story of an unbeliever—but not just any unbeliever. He is the Tribune Clavius in charge of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He pointed his finger to direct the order for the final thrust of the sword into the side of the victim on the cross. Of course, he did not really kill Him. Jesus had already surrendered his spirit moments before Clavius arrived.
The story actually begins with a fierce battle during which a close friend of Clavius is killed. Before he can even clean the filth of battle from his war weary body, he then most give the final directions at the foot of the cross. From there, one disaster after another unfolds in Jerusalem as the Jewish leaders fear the followers of Jesus stealing the body and claiming resurrection, and Pontius Pilate fearing the imminent arrival of the Emporer who will discover chaos in the region.
As Pilate’s close aid and keeper of order in Jerusalem, Clavius is plagued by this incessant message with every crisis: “Tribune, Pilate summons you.” As the tensions build, you begin to dread each summons almost as much as the exhausted Clavius. Of course the investigation of the post resurrection begins the real story as the Tribune’s sense of truth begins to be challenged.
Tribune Clavius is played with such skill by Joseph Fiennes that you truly believe he is the character he portrays. He is completely measured in his emotions, yet reflects in his eyes the torment he is going through.
The rest of the cast is just as fitting for their roles making one wish you could give a round of applause for the casting director.
Although most Christians know the story well of the crucifixion and resurrection, this story carries an altogether new approach that is intense, thoughtful and well written. I loved this movie and would recommend it for all believers as well as for those who struggle believing. They would identify well with the Tribune Clavius.
Banner photo credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment