The Cross & the Pen: "Jesus Wept"
- Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Eva: When did it occur to you that when we weep, Jesus weeps with us?
Bruce: In making “Matthew,” I had to invest my life in an understanding of Him. What an actor does is he tries to understand the heart of the person he’s playing. I sought His heart instead of me always telling Him about mine, which He knows about it anyway. So I began this search for what is inside of His heart. I was blown away. There was one day in particular on the set ... without going into the details ... I gained a cutting edge understanding of the compassion and His heartbreak for lost people. When I say lost, there are people who are lost eternally and those who are born again but still fumbling around.
Eva: Was this the scene, “Woe to you Bethsaida?”
Bruce: Exactly ... yeah! That’s when I learned that God weeps for people’s pain.
Eva: It was interesting to me when I read [in “In the Footsteps of Jesus”] about the day you shot that scene because I’d had my own experience while at the ruins of Bethsaida during my trip to Israel. I actually thought I heard someone calling His name ... but instead of Jesus, I heard “Yeshua!” It was there that I realized that in His time and by His people, He was called Yeshua. I got so excited because that was a part of Him I hadn’t caught hold of yet.
Bruce: Yeah, you’ve got to grip those little things.
Eva: One of the things I thought of while reading “Jesus Wept,” was that as He stood before the grave of Lazarus ... and weeps ... He then said, “Father, I thank you. ...”
Bruce: That’s interesting because I’m working on a new book right now called “The Character of a Man.” It’s really a look at Jesus as a role model of masculinity. One whole chapter is on His humility. I end the chapter with that as a climatic story, that here is the Son of the Living God and in terms of who He is ... and His life ... He’s sleeping in the bushes ... (laughs) ... and He continually says “Thanks.” I mean, He was continually going through hell ... not just on the cross, but every day of His life ... and here He is in the middle of human tragedy in a situation where we tend to raise our fists against God and He’s just thankful as a man. We look at a scripture like that and we tend to see it as Him saying “grace,” but it’s not. It’s Him literally giving thanks.
Bruce: It’s beyond understanding. It’s so shockingly breathtaking to understand ... yeah. ...
Eva: Well, Brave Soul, you address an age-old issue in “Jesus Wept.” “If it hurts God when we hurt, why does He allow terrible things to happen?”
Bruce: Because there’s one thing He just doesn’t interfere with ... and I’m sure it comes out of His love and respect for us ... and that’s human will.
Eva: Right. One of my favorite lines from your book ... and I’m paraphrasing it just a bit .... is “what a terrible price is paid for the privilege of making choices.”
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