The Story Behind Passion of Christ

Mel Gibson warned actor Jim Caviezel that playing the character of Christ was going to be very difficult and that if he accepted, he most likely would be marginalized by Hollywood.

Caviezel asked for a day to think about it and his response to Mel who was funding and directing the movie was: “I think we have to make it, even if it is difficult.” And something else, my initials are J.C., and I am 33 years old. “I didn’t realize that until now.”

Mel responded with “You’re really scaring me you know.”

During filming, Jim Caviezel who plays the part of Jesus lost 45 pounds, he was struck by lightning, he was accidentally struck twice during the scourging scene leaving a deep 14-inch scar, he dislocated his shoulder when the cross was dropped into the hole with him on the cross.

He then suffered pneumonia and hypothermia from being nearly naked with only a loin cloth on the cross for endless hours. The crucifixion scene alone took 5 weeks of the 2 months of shooting.

His body was so stressed and exhausted from playing the role that he had to undergo two open-heart surgeries after the filming production.

Jim explained, “I didn’t want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. Conversions will happen through that.”

Almost like a clairvoyant prediction, many amazing things happened.

Pedro Sarubbi, who played Barabbas, felt that it was not Caviezel who was looking at him, but Jesus Christ himself, as he played that role he said of Caviezel, “His eyes had no hatred or resentment towards me, only mercy and love.”

Luca Lionello, the artist who played Judas, was an avowed atheist before shooting began. He eventually converted and baptized his children.

One of the main technicians working on the film was a Muslim converted to Christianity.

Some producers said they saw actors dressed in white they didn’t recognize during one of the filming sessions, and when they reviewed the recordings they realized they couldn’t see them in that footage.

The Passion of the Christ is the highest-grossing US religious as well as the highest R-rated film of all time, with $370.8 million! Worldwide, it grossed $611 million.
More importantly, it has reached 100’s of millions of people around the world.
Mel Gibson paid $30 million out of his own pocket for the production of the film because no studio would take on the project.

Today Jim Caviezel simply and boldly proclaims his faith in Christ, and the miracle it was for him to represent Christ as an actor and a greater believer of Christ because of this experience.



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  1. Interesting that you should post this today. And talk about being a living sacrifice; Jim certainly was. It is a very hard movie to watch; however, I was just going to put it in when I saw your article. I think I just want to be with Jesus today; He was so alone in this, you know? I’ll be wrecked afterwards.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m the same way ~ crying through the entire movie. Watching the suffering IS difficult and heartbreaking enough, and then I remember Jesus endured all of this for OUR sins, since He had none of His own. The thought of our Creator willingly dying in our place brings me to my knees in praise and gratitude. He loves us and wants to spend time with us which blows my mind even further! Looking forward to Easter Sunrise service this Sunday. We hope each of our readers has a Blessed Easter praising and thanking our Lord for all He’s done and continues to do for us. 💚

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I just posted 2 scenes from the Crucifixion part of The Passion of the Christ just before seeing your Blog today.
    A movie my wife and I liked also is:
    The Last Tempation of Christ – ending
    Her and I saw it from this vantage:
    “”Conservatives castigate “The Last Temptation of Christ” for its illustration of Jesus as an everyday sinner, but they fail to see that this is exactly what makes Jesus’ active decision to resist temptation and save humanity by sacrificing himself so incredibly admirable. Scorsese’s Jesus may not be the magical paragon of perfection as written in the Bible, but he willingly rejects his dreams of normalcy because he cares about mankind’s well-being more than his own; that takes a lot of strength. Isn’t putting others before yourself Jesus’ ultimate credo? As one of Scorsese’s greatest works, “The Last Temptation of Christ” is a compelling drama that makes Jesus relatable through his struggles with the expectations of others and his own longings.””
    In other words, although Jesus was depicted as being human, and the frailties that come with that, the Character Jesus represents is supposed to be us, and our need to repent to be saved. His removal from the cross in this movie was hypothetical, as when He was removed and walked away, He was still on the cross, and when He realizes at the end of the movie that He had been duped by satan, He ends up back on the cross, asking to complete God’s plans for Him, from earlier in the movie as if no time had been lost, He clearly was leading a hypothetical life that was intended to portray us, and not Him.
    A shorter section of the very end, better quality than the same part depicted in the link above.
    The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – I Want To Be The Messiah! Scene (10/10) | Movieclips

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I never heard this before, and I’m sure Jim’s suffering in the movie was real. But he blessed us with a clear portrait of Jesus Christ. Mel Gibson may be a scoundrel on some levels, but his love of God is real. No Hollywood studio could have done so well.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “Enough! the Resurrection,
    A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, | joyless days, dejection.
    Across my foundering deck shone
    A beacon, an eternal beam. | Flesh fade, and mortal trash
    Fall to the residuary worm; | world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
    In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
    I am all at once what Christ is, | since he was what I am, and
    This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, | patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
    Is immortal diamond.”

    –Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Wreck of the Deutschland”

    “Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east . . .”

    –Gerard Manley Hopkins, “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection”

    Liked by 4 people

    • Correction: the first quote by Gerard Manley Hopkins is from his poem “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection”; the second quote is from Hopkins’ poem “The Wreck of the Deutschland”.

      Liked by 4 people

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