As mentioned, the raising of Lazarus was glossed over in the film, and this is the act that gave more people a desire to crucify Jesus Christ than any other event. One week before Christ’s death, the Lord asked His disciples to retrieve a donkey. You Bible scholars already know that He fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 by riding the donkey into Jerusalem. The disciples who retrieved the donkey, suggested that He manipulated the event in order to appear that He was fulfilling prophecy. Yes, a skeptical theme is evident throughout this movie. Fast forwarding ahead to Jesus and the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: when the officials came to arrest Him, as you may recall, zealous Peter cut off the ear of a soldier. The Bible says that Jesus healed the ear. Again, in consistent fashion, the movie omitted this miracle, one of His last performed on earth. Prior to His crucifixion in the movie, one uttered that “He walked on water and fed the multitudes.” In the background one could be heard asking: “Did you see it happen?” Again implying a lie was being told.
The following episode is classic of so called “Hollywood” poetic license. We know how Judas Iscariot was given thirty pieces of silver for turning Jesus over to the authorities. The Bible tells us that he brought it back to the priests and religious elders in the temple because he betrayed innocent blood. Since it was “blood money,” the priests decided it could not be used for temple service, and reserved it for the Potter’s Field, which was a parcel of land used to bury strangers. It became known as the field of blood. The movie has Judas giving a boy thirty pieces of silver, to purchase a rope that the lad had around his goat! This is the rope Judas hung himself with. Furthermore, the movie has him hanging himself in a level area which could not have happened according to the scriptures. One Gospel account says Judas hung himself. Another says his bowels gushed out down a cliff. Merging the true accounts together we find that Judas hung himself over a cliff, the rope/branch broke, and he fell down the cliff.
In the movie, the authorities gave Jesus a crimson colored robe for His mock trials, yet the Bible says it was purple. The movie quoted it as purple even though it was not. Have colors changed in the last two thousand years? Inri was the only sign placed on the cross. There were no miracles displayed at the cross. The earth did not quake and the sky did not turn dark. The veil in the temple between the holy place and the holy of holies was not shown to be split top to bottom. Lepers were not cleansed, and people did not rise from the dead as the Bible tells us. This could have been the crucifixion of Spartacus rather than Jesus. The thief on the cross who became saved, was far from Christ and never heard from. In the movie, Jesus was never heard saying: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Bill O’Reilly claimed “that would never have been said.” Then O’Reilly quipped “No one being crucified would have made such a statement or have the strength to do so.” O’Reilly’s audacity and foolish presumption is downright scary! A very human Jesus was presented at the crucifixion.
Three days later, the movie displays an empty tomb, asserting no real evidence for the resurrection or suggestion of why His body was missing. The women who came to the tomb, however, smiled as they noticed it was empty. That was probably the largest inference to the resurrection in the entire movie. No angels appeared, the ground did not quake, fearful Roman soldiers were not to be seen, and the resurrection of Jesus was glossed over.
Later, Peter is shown fishing once again, and he caught another huge, miraculous amount after he appeared to be in prayer. The implication was that the Lord enabled the great catch, but Jesus is no where to be seen. In fact, the movie shows no appearances of Jesus whatsoever after the crucifixion, nor is His ascension to heaven displayed either.
Here are a few mind boggling closing statements in the movie: 1)Peter took the “Christian tradition” to Rome, where he formalized the “Mason Christian Church.” [This is classic Catholicism. There was no pope for three hundred years after Peter. Christians do not call our faith “tradition,” we call it the Gospel.] 2)The movie claims once again that “according to tradition John was exiled to the island of Patmos.” This is mentioned in the book of Revelation. The authors again refuse to believe in the inspiration of the holy scriptures. 3) Furthermore, they said the Gospel account of John is open to debate in regards to its’ authenticity and authorship. What more is there to say?
Conclusion: There are so many excellent Biblical movies on Jesus Christ that hold to the integrity of the scriptures. For instance, watch the excellent sequel to “The Bible,” on Easter night- it is called “A.D., The Bible Continues…” (9pm/8c, NBC). There is also Jesus of Nazareth, King Of Kings, Ben Hur, The Passion Of The Christ and The Greatest Story Ever Told. To me, watching the movie Killing Jesus was a consummate waste, except to expose it. O’Reilly claims to believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, but does he believe He is the only way? (John 14:6) Furthermore, what good is accomplished in this film? Lost souls and inquirers to the faith will only become confused by watching it. O’Reilly has a “buffet style” approach to the Bible, and believes in only part of the Bible and rejects the rest. This is in direct conflict with the caption at the beginning of the movie that says it is based on the Bible. O’Reilly arbitrarily decides what is to be taken literally, what is to be accepted as an allegory or hyperbole, and what is to be rejected. He probably vacillates himself from day to day about what he accepts and rejects. [I like Bill O’Reilly and a lot of what he does, such as standing up for the Christians’ right to celebrate Christmas. As a reputable news anchor, he also helped secure the release of an American prisoner in Mexico, who was there on trumped up false charges. Writing books on the King Of Kings however, is not his forte. He needs to stick with writing about Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and George S. Patton]. Let me close with a simple question to you who know you are saved. Would you write such a book, or direct this movie? The scriptures are added to, taken away from, distorted, and tampered with. It is indeed confusing, at least from my perspective. The Gospel is 100% true and there are many movies on the life of Jesus Christ that better represent the true, infallible, inerrant, immutable Word of God.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NASB)
Have A Blessed Easter/Resurrection Day
Maranatha, Pastor Steve