Paul, Apostle of Christ arrived in theaters just in time for Easter celebrations. Luke, the writer of the gospel of the same name, visits his friend, Paul, in a Rome prison cell. The leader of Rome, Emperor Nero, saw Christians as a threat to the Roman Empire and sentenced Paul to death. In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul writes while imprisoned that only Luke is with him. Luke begins the process of writing another book (the book of Acts) that will detail how the early apostles got started in preaching “The Way.”
James Faulkner acts as the title character. Jim Caviezel portrays Luke. The writer and director is Andrew Hyatt who talks of his approach by saying, “Always the first step…is study Scripture. We just stay with Scripture as the only source material. And then when we start to bring the humanity side of it, it just comes very naturally because we’ve done all the research and we’ve gotten all the experts to sign off.”
Here are five things I loved about this movie:
1. Paul Regretted His Life Before Knowing Christ
Paul was sentenced to death by Nero, a persecutor of Christians, but ironically Paul had been an intense persecutor of Christians himself. He was once Saul of Tarsus who was a notorious serial killer of Christians. But then he had an encounter with Jesus’ Spirit and everything changed! This movie shows that Paul had major regrets from his past and often didn’t feel worthy of being an apostle of Christ.
This is where every Christian should be able to relate to Paul. He wasn’t a super Christian that never made mistakes. Most Christians have something from their past that they regret. And our present moments continue to have mistakes all through them. The important thing is to repent from our sins and let God’s grace cover them, so we can move forward speaking about the God of redemption.
2. Christianity Best Expresses Itself in Community
The movie shows the home of Aquilla and Priscilla. They were friends of Paul and allowed their home to be a place of training and encouragement for fellow Christians.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says to think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works and don’t neglect to meet together often. It’s often said that you can’t be a lone ranger Christian. You should always meet with others and encourage one another. Encouragement brings the strength to produce good fruit in your life by sharing the Good News.
3. Throughout History, Persecution Has Been Reality for Christ Followers
This movie portrays the brutal persecution of followers of Christ in Rome during the first century. It also shows the disciples of Christ fearing because of what they were seeing and hearing. Many disciples wanted to go elsewhere to minister to escape Rome’s darkness. In the movie, this thought was brought up: If they all left, there would be no light left at all.
Persecution is a reality that continues up to our present day. This is an even greater reason for Christians to always continue to meet together so they can build up one another’s faith. If we walk away from all worldly situations, won’t it get even darker? One candle or two makes a difference within pitch blackness.
4. Stephen’s Stoning & The Road to Damascus
The disciple Stephen’s stoning was a sad moment in Christian history. He was killed for nothing other than speaking the truth. However, God used this moment to begin to get the Apostle Paul’s attention while he was still Saul. Saul took notice of Stephen’s forgiveness of his persecutors and his joy while being killed because he saw a vision of Jesus coming to usher him into the afterlife. Saul took notice of all of this and remembered it later when he was on the road to Damascus and struck blind by the Lord before repenting of his sins and being dubbed Paul.
Both of these scenes were shown beautifully in the movie, Paul, Apostle of Christ.
5. Love is the Way
In the jail cell, Luke asks Paul about the possibility of Christians retaliating from all of this evil. Shouldn’t they fight back and end some of this horrendous suffering? Paul responds with the famous ideals of 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is the way. It is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful or even proud. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t demand its own way. It keeps no record of wrongs. It hates injustice and rejoices loudly when the truth wins out. Love never gives up. It never loses faith. It is always hopeful, and it endures through every circumstance. Yes, love is the way.
The Bottom Line
Because Paul repented with his whole heart, grace was indeed enough to cover his former life as a killer of Christians. He was able to get past his past and press on to run the new race God put him on—the great interpreter of the Scriptures to the Gentiles. He preached and wrote about the Good News right up until his beheading and then he went on to glory to be with his savior.
Jennifer Heeren loves to write and wants to live in such a way that people are encouraged by her writing and her attitude. She loves to write devotional articles and stories that bring people hope and encouragement. Her cup is always at least half-full, even when circumstances aren’t ideal. She regularly contributes to Crosswalk.com. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. Visit her at www.jenniferheeren.com.