Risen is a Christian film that takes an interesting approach to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most films look at it from the point of view of one of the Disciples or Mary, but this one looks at it from a roman soldier’s point of view. Clavius has been tasked with finding out who is spreading the rumors of Jesus being alive and putting an end to the problem. Clavius works at this goal for a while, but eventually begins to realize that this may not simply be a baseless rumor, but an incredible truth. This puts him at odds with the government so he quickly finds himself in a dangerous situation.
I can definitely appreciate what the director/writer was thinking here. This fresh take on the event is fun to see and Clavius is a good lead. He’s a reasonable guy who may have started out rather hard, but eventually came around. Paul ended up being one of the greatest Apostles in history and he started out as a murderer. There is always time to become a Christian even if you have a dark past. It can be easy to feel like it’s too late, but it certainly is not. The biggest mistake you can make it putting off your repentance and salvation because you want to wait for a good day. If you wait too long, you may find yourself dead before you have a chance. Prolonging things of such importance is not a good idea and the world continues to be in constant turmoil. It’s really impossible to say whether you will be dead or alive tomorrow so don’t take the risk. It is not worth losing your soul for eternity.
If I have any complaints about Risen, it’s that I would have liked to have seen the Disciples more. They rarely got to appear and didn’t get to look all that great when they did show up. Granted, they certainly would be cautious since Clavius was a Roman and they are only human. They did offer him food to eat and were amiable, but I suppose they still had their guard up. When Clavius was interrogating Mary (I believe it was Mary or it could have been one of the other two women) she didn’t do a great job of talking about her faith. She would just ignore him and stare at a corner, saying only a word or two once in a while. I think that aspect of the film certainly could have been handled better. More screen time for Christian messages to be spread by these characters would have been great.
Risen does a good job of recreating what the landscape would have been like back in the day. It’s not all that pretty to look at, but that’s the general point. It’s better to get an accurate look at the area than a romanticized version of it, at least for a film like this one that is depicting real events. The chase scene we get towards the middle of the film where Clavius tries to locate the Disciple base was fun. It’s certainly hard to catch anyone in those streets since the buildings are everywhere and objects obscure your view from all sides. Being able to see the Disciples and Jesus for the first time after his resurrection was definitely the turning point for Clavius.
When thinking about everything that Jesus did in this era, it’s amazing just how close minded people were. He cured people of various diseases, gave the blind sight, and made the crippled walk again. The miracles that Jesus performed were numerous and in front of many witnesses. As Clavius was converted in this film after witnessing Jesus Christ’s power and being exposed to the message, it’s hard to see how someone wouldn’t be converted after seeing it first hand. It can never be that easy of course and there will always be those who don’t believe, but I like to think that the majority would after such a spectacle. I suppose some people simply refused to believe it, no matter what evidence was presented.
Whether in the old days or in current times, there will always be people who have completely closed off their hearts. Nobody is too far gone for God to change, but free will is a privilege that he gives us so we still have to make that choice. If you’re trying to talk to someone about Christ and that person is completely unwilling, it’s best not to force the issue. It can just make that person all the more resistant to change so waiting it out can be a good approach. Nobody can stop you from praying so you can always pray for that person to have a change of heart. Praying for others is a good habit to do every night and you should also pray for yourself as well. If you talk to God every night, it will certainly help you stay strong as a Christian. It can be tough to find time during the day, so you should always keep some kind of schedule in mind. Whether you read a daily devotional every morning or read the Bible during lunch, try to have some kind of routine. It’s not as if it’s tough to make an appointment with God, you can talk to him instantly at any point in time. Always remember to keep that connection active and it will make a difference in your life. You’ll respond to people differently if you have God in mind while you are acting.
I definitely recommend checking out Risen. I recommend it higher if you are already a Christian as you will enjoy seeing this from a new perspective. If you are not yet a Christian, then I’d sooner recommend other films like God’s Not Dead or the 10 Commandments. I admit that I have not watched the latter yet, but I’ve heard that it’s excellent and faithfully recreates a lot of events from the Bible. This film just didn’t have enough Christian discussions and messages in my opinion which is why it wouldn’t be at the top of my recommendations list, but it is still a very solid film. You certainly won’t be worse off for watching it and perhaps you will be able to identify with Clavius. Christianity looked odd to him at the beginning and he thought that it was all foolish, but after actually learning what it was all about, he saw the truth. It’s why it is important to learn about something before writing it off. That’s something that we can apply to everyday life as well.