The Passion of Jesus Christ, by John Piper
John Piper's new book 'The Passion of Jesus Christ,' timed to coincide with the release of Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion of the Christ,' puts the brutality of Jesus's death into the wider context of God's purposes. The cover blurb says:
The most important questions anyone can ask are: Why was Jesus Christ crucified? Why did he suffer so much? What has this to do with me?
We can look at the historical causes for Jesus's death, such as the plotting of the religious leaders, the cowardice and political expediency of Pilate, the treachery of Judas. These are the causes that Gibson's film focuses on. But Piper is quick to point out that his book is not about this kind of cause. Rather, it is about the purposes that were accomplished by Jesus's death - God's purposes.
This book contains fifty brief meditations on different answers from the New Testament to the question: Why did Jesus die? Through these, Piper sets out to answer what the cover blurb calls
the most important question that each of us must face: What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?
This is the kind of book that is difficult to read quickly. Ideally, it should probably be read as a regular meditation - one chapter a day. Reading it will help to put the violence of Mel Gibson's film in its true context.
John Piper is Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. You can find out more about his work, including reading online his best-selling book 'Desiring God' at www.desiringgod.org or in the UK and Europe, visit www.christisall.com
Buy 'The Passion' here
As a DVD:
As a video tape:
'Passion prompts murder confession' - this, and a wide range of other Passion-related stories from the BBC
Tell a friend by email (or text message) about the availability of movie clips
of the film at:
See the Passion.com - 'See the Passion with your own eyes; feel it in your heart for ever.' - An independent website supporting the movie.
A News Anchor's Perspective: "Nothing in my existence... could have prepared me for what I saw on-screen last night" - Review by Jody Dean, Dallas-Ft. Worth anchor for CBS.
"...the most gut-wrenching, emotional and life-changing two hours of my life." - Review by J R Whitby, director of Gospelcom.net
Will Mel Gibson's Passion of Christ help save Christianity? Article by Daniel Johnson in the 11th February 2004 issue of the London Daily Telegraph
'Who would want to see a film this violent?' The first UK review of the film, by John Hiscock in the London Daily Telegraph
Leadership University feature article on 'The Passion' - also contains a wide range of links to additional articles.