Hanging near Jesus, a thief confesses and asks to be remembered in the kingdom. Mary says, “My son, let me die with you.”

“It is accomplished,” Jesus says. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

A teardrop falls, the earth quakes, and the Temple splits in two. Soldiers break the ankles of the thieves, but seeing that Jesus already appears to have died, they pierce his side, causing blood and water to pour out.

Satan is shown screaming in agony. A pieta is followed by a shot of a stone rolling away, and an empty sheet. Jesus, in profile and bathed in light, stands, a hole in his palm clearly visible.

Each of these films takes liberties with the Gospels, and each has been both admired and condemned by Christians. Yet the story of Christ continues to be filmed. From the reverent, biblical epics of the 1950s to The Passion of the Christ, the power of Christ’s suffering and the joy of his triumph over death continue to be the greatest story ever told.


For Further Reading:

Matthew 28:1-10
Mark 15
Luke 24:1-12
John 20