Movie Review: “Risen” a Powerful Hollywood Twist on the Resurrection Story

(PHOTO: SONY PICTURES) Film still for "Risen" (2016).
Film still for “Risen” (2016).

Some of the best discussions I’ve ever had in church small groups have revolved around what the Bible doesn’t tell us.

For example: Who did Cain marry? Why did God get so angry at Moses for striking that rock? And who wrote the book of Hebrews?

Then there’s this one: How would Roman officials — and specifically Pilate — have reacted had they learned of the empty tomb?

We know that the guards were paid to tell everyone that Jesus’ body was stolen as they supposedly slept (Matthews 28:13), and that the chief priests thought they could appease Pilate if he learned of the resurrection (Matthew 28:14). Scripture, though, has little else to say.

But let’s suppose Pilate did find out about the empty tomb. What would he have done?

That’s the theme of the new movie “Risen” (PG-13) which opens in theaters this weekend and posits that Pilate would have ordered his military to search for the body of Christ. What follows is a detective-type story that is inspiring and moving — even if we assume we know how it all will end.

“You will track down each and every one of these disciples,” Pilate tells a military tribune named Clavius (played by Joseph Fiennes), a brutal leader who had taken part in the killing of Jesus and who has little use for the story of His resurrection. Clavius, after all, prays to the Roman god Mars.

Clavius and his men find Mary Magdalene, demanding to know where they put Jesus.

“He’s right here,” she answers, tears in her eyes. “… Open your heart and see.”

He interrogates a joyful Bartholomew, asking him the same question.

“God is not at my beck and call,” Bartholomew responds.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Foust