Sunday, March 25, 2018


Before William Wallace said in the movie BRAVEHEART that "every man dies, but not every man really lives", Paul, the Apostle of Christ, notably said, "to live is Christ, to die is gain". Paul lived exactly that way all the way to the end of his life. Just released by AFFIRM FILMS on March 23, 2018, Jim Caviezel (the Co-Executive Producer) and his team offered a stunning movie full of grit, stark reality, and truth which left every one of us in the theater speechless and stunned.

The cinematography, set construction and acting drove the viewer (us) to actually become part of the narrative of the New Testament Books of Acts and 2 Timothy. While the events of Paul's incredible life happened at a certain point in time (67 AD), ALL Scriptures were written for ".....and inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). If one of the goals of the producers was to draw the bible believing Christian into the movie, they mightily succeeded.

The choice of Malta as the movie location is perfect as the landscape lends unique authenticity to the grit, grime, and gut-wrenching persecution our Christian brothers and sisters suffered at the brutal hands of the Romans for over 250 years before their Roman Emperor Constantine put an end to it. A historian named Tertullian once said that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church". It was the innocent blood of Paul and all the Christians who brought the Gospel of Christ and Christianity to the West on which we stand. Unfortunately, we, whose Salvation was bought at the highest price at Calvary on a Cross at Golgotha, have forgotten or ignored the modern-day persecution of God's people all across the Middle East, North Korea and basically, worldwide.

Paul, Apostle of Christ begins with the Apostle in sad physical condition, having been framed by the mad pervert Roman Emperor Nero, as the arsonist who burned down half of Rome. (Historically accurate). Paul and the Christians were convenient scapegoats due to their non-violent lifestyles, love, and care for the poor, discarded and abused in the godless city of Rome. The prison is run by the Roman Prefect Mauritius, who with his guards are just as brutal as the centurions who brutalized the Lord Jesus over 34 years at this moment. Dr. Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke, and a Greek Physician, initially had favor until he started writing the Book of Acts from the spectacular memory of Paul. Luke (Jim Caviezel) becomes a really important part of this powerfully transformative film as unlikely things begin to happen, both in the hidden Christian community led by the famous Priscilla and Aquilla, as well as with Prefect Mauritius and his family.

So many things are noteworthy about this movie, but the heart-wrenching flashbacks of the Apostle Paul early days, as the brutal hitman for the priests of the Temple in Jerusalem set a powerful backdrop for HIS redemption as well as anyone who has come to Christ from a life of horrid sin. Those flashbacks, while they were part of the narration of the Book of Acts to Dr. Luke, brought back memories which would sadden any human being. NOTE HERE: these flashback events took place BEFORE the Road to Damascus conversion of Saul of Tarsus, when he had an encounter with the living Christ and thus, because the Apostle Paul.

The great Reformer Martin Luther faced the same thing when the devil kept accusing him of being a sinner and not worthy until Christ showed up and put an end to it. Each human being, at the point of death or even conversion, will face the same from the Accuser of the Brethren.  The powerful scene of Paul's execution led to something which brought Heaven so real to my soul. It took away the sadness of the temporary sting of death. It was then, the words which Apostle Paul used so powerfully, came to life. It was then that "to live is Christ, to die is gain" became real. The end of this movie will most definitely encourage any Christian who is discouraged by what is going on around us and the world. 

What a movie! It has the same potential for staying power as Passion of The Christ, which made Jim Caviezel the man he is today. Passion 2 is in the works. Paul, the Apostle of Christ is here and worth seeing many times over - with small groups and church members and unsaved friends in tow. Paul, the Apostle of Christ is also for them since it shows the Love of Christ by a people who gave everything for the hope and truth of a better day. 

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