This past weekend, I once again indulged in one of my well accustomed traditions, of watching Risen. This movie never ceases to encourage my faith and encourage me in my walk with God. Without giving away too much, the movie is about a Roman Soldier, Clavius (played by the very talented Joseph Fiennes) looking for the dead body of Jesus. Yet he ends up finding the resurrected Jesus instead.
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He cannot fathom the reality of the situation. Granted, even Jesus’ disciples struggle to believe it. Here are the reasons why Risen always manages to encourage me:
His journey is our journey
In many ways the journey that Clavius embarks on, as a skeptic, is one that many of us go on personally. Then once you are faced with the truth, you have to make a decision, is this the truth you will choose to follow, or will you continue in your skepticism? God is always seeking us, the question is are we open to Him.
Each of is seeking something
Clavius was seeking status, wealth, power and all of the usual things that people still seek today. When asked what he desired, his response was very poignant: “An end to travail, certainty, peace, a day without death.” His response is so much deeper than we are expecting from a Roman soldier. He was seeking eternal life, yet had no way of knowing how to get it and where to begin.
The theme of Joy among the believers
As Clavius interviews the disciples, a common theme develops. Their courage, strength, peace and joy. Bartholomew, in particular. His love, laughter and free-spirit, as well as his response “Our only weapon is love”. We see this continue as the disciples call each other, ‘brother’ and laugh together as they pray joyfully. Peter approaches Clavius to join them, and gives him water and food. Even though the Romans were considered their enemies.
Time alone with Jesus is the key to intimacy
Clavius finally gets a moment with Jesus, and admits that he does not even know what to ask. Jesus encourages him to speak his heart. This is what God wants from us, an intimate, deep relationship, where we share with Him. As they share, Jesus repeats Clavius’ words to him, ‘a day without death’. Clavius looks at Jesus, and he knows that this is the real thing. He finds comfort just sitting next to Jesus. God knows our heart’s deepest desires. With Jesus, you will feel safe, secure and know that you can depend on Him. He starts giving your life greater purpose and meaning.
An encounter with Jesus will change your life, forever!
Something Peter says, ‘how can i do anything else now?’ When you truly encounter the love of God and you let it impact you deeply and profoundly, it causes a ripple effect and affects all those whom you encounter.
By our love and the way we live our lives, they will see Jesus, and when they ask you about it, be ready to share your testimony, and point them to Jesus. You can even be so bold as to invite them into a relationship with Jesus, but let the Holy Spirit lead you in this. Together with this, receiving good word and teaching is also key to growing in the knowledge of who you are (your identity) and your authority.
2000 years later, and still going stronger than ever
Toward the end of the movie, Pilate arrogantly says, “We will never hear from them again”. Wrong, Pilate. The Roman Empire even fell, yet Christianity is still thriving and growing today. Jesus still has faithful disciples here on earth, who are fishing for men and preaching the gospel, telling people about the joy of a relationship with God, about eternal life.
Below is the trailer of Risen, if you have not seen it, go and see it immediately. It will definitely stir up for your faith and bless you.
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you…” 2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV