Movie Review: Risen

   A tribune of Legion 10 in Jerusalem, Clavius’ job is to help keep the peace in Judea. When he’s sent to oversee the finishing up of the crucifixion of three criminals, one of them called Yeshua the Nazarene, he doesn’t realize how life-changing the experience will be. Three days later, the Nazarene’s tomb is found empty, and Pilate charges Clavius to find the body of Yeshua.
   This exciting film tells the story of the resurrection of Jesus (called by His Hebrew name, Yeshua, in the movie) through the eyes of an unbeliever. It’s become one of my favorite movies. Here are a few of my thoughts on Risen.
It’s (for the most part) Biblically and historically accurate.
   I’ve yet to see a Bible-based movie that keeps everything accurate to Scripture. But this one does come pretty close. There’s fiction added, which I don’t have a problem with, but all the major events and most of the minor details in this film stay true to Scripture. While I do believe every detail recorded in the Bible is important, the instances where this film does err from the Biblical account do seem comparatively minor. For example, John’s gospel records that the instance when Jesus met with the disciples and Thomas was present took place eight days after the resurrection, while the movie implies that it’s on the fourth day. And while John only mentions some of the disciples fishing and having breakfast with Jesus by the Sea of Galilee after He has risen, the movie includes all twelve disciples.
   When I began doing some research on this time period for my historical fiction books, I was excited to discover little details they got right in this film, such as the fact that Legion 10 actually was stationed in Jerusalem at this time.
    And most importantly, this movie clearly portrays that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again so that everyone who believes will have their sins forgiven and experience eternal life with Him.
It’s artistically well done.
   I love historical costumes and have sewn many for myself and my family. And the costumes in this movie are excellent. I found the whole aesthetic and color palette very pleasing. The acting is very good. And oh, I love the dialogue. It’s natural, not stuffy or too old fashioned, but not too modern-sounding either.
Final thoughts:
   This is a great action-packed, Biblically-based film bringing a fresh new spin on the true story of the resurrection. It’s rated PG-13 and for a reason. There are a few gruesome scenes showing decaying bodies, a fight between Jewish Zealots and Roman soldiers, it alludes to prostitution, and of course, there’s the crucifixion.
   I’ve watched this movie many times and still haven’t tired of it. I’m reminded that the resurrection was a real historic fact. Our faith is not based merely on ideas but on truth. God really became man and stepped into history some 2,000 years ago. He died a cruel death on a Roman cross to save us from our sins. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
   Overall, I give the movie Risen 5 out of 5 stars for an excellent drama on the resurrection.
   Well, always remember, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it,”  (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
All for Him,
Savannah Jane

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