Many " Jesus Movies " have been made in the past. Where does the upcoming film, Thirty Three, The Story of Hope, stand in the pantheon of other Jesus movies and films that are commonly grouped under the Jesus Movies Category? There are many people who see our particular story - set in the first eighteen months after the Crucifixion - as picking up where Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ ended.
However, Jesus movies like the sequel to the Passion of the Christ is Mr. Gibson's story to tell. Upon closer examination, our Jesus movies plan to tell a much more dimensional story - the story of how eleven men could even hope of possible escaping the ruling Sanhedrin Council and the full might and power of the Roman Empire to build the faith and Church that we have come to know as Christianity against overwhelming odds.
This is why we call our new Jesus movies effort; Thirty Three, The Story of Hope. How could this have happened??
The point of view for this Jesus movies presentation is seen through the eyes of Saul, the Great Persecutor. This educated tentmaker from Tarsus elevates himself from a top rabbinical student, to a self appointed protector of the Law, to an appointed protector of the Law, to the Great Persecutor of the Followers of the Way and then, all the way, to the Great Proclaimer of this Jesus of Nazareth.
In this first of several Jesus movies, Paul watches the Jesus movement arise in personal horror for it directly threatens Israel in his mind. He simply cannot reconcile this itinerant Rabbi, this wandering teacher, to the promised Messiah of the Law. Here is an excerpt from the Book that shows his disbelief as he speaks it out to himself...
"Ah the solution cannot be blended into weakness," Saul thought to himself. "I learned at Gamaliel's feet, and with all the future Rabbis of the Temple, that the Messiah was the savior of the future. This time in history was to be dedicated to the absolute obedience to the Law of Moses.
If the people of Israel were diligent and fulfilled their destiny, then the stage would be set for the arrival of the Messiah - a savior who would come with a salvation defined and promised by the Law. Yes, then the true Messiah would inaugurate a new age, a glorious new age in which the Law would no longer be needed.
We want to portray in our Jesus movies how he would destroy the sinners and drive out the Gentiles so that the chosen people, the twelve tribes of Israel, could ascend into a Messianic community free from sin. Blameless, purified, deserving, completed. But the Messiah could not, would not, arrive until the people of Israel consummated their obedience to the Law, without question, so as to construct the very door for the Messiah to enter. History could not overlap.
And yet, these crazy Galileans, bamboozled by the soothing words and clever tricks of the Nazarene, were secretly going about Jerusalem and surely in Galilee, claiming that the Messiah had come in the form of that itinerant Rabbi Jesus. I have my spies - they hear more than the Galileans would imagine, as they hide in the home of the merchant. How foolish, how wrong!
We hope to show in all of our Jesus movies, that the proof could be determined by a simple walk about the city amongst the sinners who fall far short of their obedience to the Law with their shallow ways and decadent desires. No Messiah could come to save a people who were not ready for their salvation. This sect is a direct threat to the Law - how can one not see this as clearly as the hand I hold up in front of my face? Believe in Jesus and you reject the Law. Believe in the Law and you must reject this Jesus."
There are two major points that delineate Thirty Three, The Story of Hope from traditional Jesus movies.
In this first of three Jesus movies we hope to produce, the first movie begins with Joseph of Arimathea's request for the body of the scourged and beaten Master. Our protagonist is DEAD from the opening moments of the unfolding drama. It is very rare to watch any Jesus movies in which Jesus is already in His tomb. Yet, His spirit dominates the rest of the story and dramatically arises as the central player of the resolution when the Saul is whirled about on the road to Damacus. Can you imagine a conversion so profound and powerful as to change the Great Persecutor into the Great Proclaimer?
The second point that releases us from the traditional Jesus movies, and the position that we intend to take in all of our Jesus movies, is in the identification that the viewer will naturally feel to Saul, since the movie unfolds through the eyes of the antagonist. It tickles the PROVE IT in all of us, that part of human nature that wants to use judgment and knowledge to simply BE RIGHT. In our first of three Jesus movies, we will connect with this character as we recognize ourselves in him. We will connect with Saul's need to connect all the dots instead of surrender unto faith.
Most Jesus movies show Jesus in a way that is a direct result of 2000 plus years of Western explanation for His life and Resurrection. That is NOT our goal in our three Jesus movies, as we tell you this story in the filmed version.
We understand that a magnificent power arises from telling the story in our Jesus movies with high cultural and Scriptural authenticity. We understand that so many people are turned off by out and out preaching and the presentation of this time period as if it was today. We are determined not to allow this to happen in any of our Jesus movies.
You cannot understand the truth of the Jesus movement until you understand the culture from which it arose. We have spent a great deal of time, in both the book and screenplay as written by noted Filmmaker Cristobal Krusen of Messenger Films, LLC, to make SURE that we the cultural and scriptural markers right in all of our Jesus movies.
In the scripting of our first of three Jesus movies, we have consulted with an outstanding Biblical Scholar in Vermont - Mr. Raul Fonseca. As a viewer of any of our Jesus movies, you may rest assured that we have checked and counter check every foundational point in the screenplay.
In this and our future Jesus movies, great care has been taken to put the entire story in its proper cultural context.
And, the Story does not end here. Of course, Jesus ascends after forty days from Mount Bethany and we do not see Him again on Earth. Still, his character - this stealth protagonist as perpetually represented in Spirit - permeates this story and every other story that we will tell in our Jesus movies as we take the story forward.
We will make this Jesus film and our other Jesus movies with the Spirit of Christ in the lead role, not the one-dimensional Christ that one often encounters in so many other Jesus movies.
This first of our Jesus movies is being made to be seen by all nations, not just the Christian nation; the adoring choir. We want this and our other Jesus movies to be seen by the Muslim nation, the Buddhist nation, the Hindu nation, the un-churched nation.
After all, many of the world religions see Jesus as a wonderful teacher of peace, mercy and forgiveness. They are far more angry and threatened about what was done in the name of Jesus than they are about Jesus.
By insuring that our Jesus movies show His story in an authentic manner, we can drive people back to a time before there was any sectarian division, before the hand of man spilled his hatred upon this man's life and actions.
These are days of the Peace Kiss and the shared meals of worship where the Followers of the Way spoke out the Eucharist in the exact way that eyewitnesses heard it said by the Master himself at the Last Supper.
In all of our Jesus movies, there will be no hatred and prejudice in the telling the truth - those ugly paths are built when one allows the end to justify the means. This is just as true in story telling as every reader and every viewer should have an unfettered right to see a story presented truthfully.
This is one of many Jesus movies that will stand simply upon its narrative.
When I was a third grader, we were asked to do a book report on a simple book. Some of you will remember a third grade book report - you took a large piece of construction paper and drew crossing lines upon it to create four sections for writing and coloring .
In one section, we were asked to draw a picture, one to write the title and author, one to pick out our favorite sentence and one to tell what we thought the theme was for the book. I will never forget the large X that covered my theme after I turned in one book report.
No, my teacher said, that is not the theme.
Well, even as a third grader, I was HOT and told her that it was MY theme. I went home that evening and told my parents that is was MY theme and that I would never change my mind about that and accept her theme.
As we contemplated making our new Jesus movies, this moment has stayed with us in 33 Hope as I wrote Thirty Three, The Story of Hope and with Cristobal as he wrote the screenplay for Thirty Three, The Movie.
In all of our Jesus movies, we promise you to tell a story that is unadorned by prejudice or is written to push you toward a pre determined theme. Get ready to pull up a seat and enjoy this film when it is released in early 2012. We trust you to draw your own inferences and to find your own theme. All that we have endeavored to do is to tell you this story, this incredible Story of Hope.
To start the filming of our Jesus movies, we will be in Israel on a scouting trip from December 5th thru the 14th meeting with our experts and production associates on the ground. Stay tuned at www.Jesus-Movies.com for Video Blogs from that journey!
ã Copyright 2010 JesusMovies.com All Rights Reserved
At Jesus Movies we are extremely anxious to promote our Jesus movies along with any other Jesus movies that are in the marketplace that stay true to what we believe that any Jesus movies need to do; stay true to the story of Jesus and His life.
For this reason we at Jesus Movies encourage you to share this article and video on the making of our first of three Jesus movies and the many additional articles and Jesus movies videos that we are planning to produce in the process of our creation of our three Jesus movies.
The only thing that we at Jesus Movies request is that if you share this Jesus Movies article or this Jesus Movies video or any future Jesus Movies articles or Jesus Movies videos, is that you give Jesus Movies (www.Jesus-Movies.com) the full credit and back links to our Jesus Movies website.
We truly love Jesus and we want all of our Jesus movies to properly and accurately tell the story of Jesus in a narrative way, and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. We want our three Jesus movies to be non-offensive and factual so that any person, whether they believe in God or not, to be able to watch our Jesus movies and be able to enjoy them for the excellent story of the life Jesus and His disciples.
This is why it is important that any reproduction of this Jesus Movies article be exactly the way that it is written here on our Jesus Movies website.
Thank you again for visiting our Jesus Movies website and we hope that you will return and follow the development and production of our three Jesus movies.