Risen, takes a new and different look at the Resurrection of Christ
Like so many films before it, Risen, follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, unlike any of those other cinematic tales, this one is told, not from the point of view of one of Christ’s disciples, but through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius (Fiennes), is a powerful Roman Military Tribune, along with his aide, Lucius (Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Yahshua — that is to say, Christ — (Curtis) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent a Jewish uprising in Jerusalem
Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Yahshua in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
An Insurrectionist Plot?
This then is the hook of Risen — instead of telling the story from the point of view from one of Christ’s followers, and following Scriptural cannon, this film takes the point of view that reality is that which we can see, and works from the assumption that the “miraculous resurrection” was simply an insurrectionist plot to rally the local populace and overthrow the legitimate authority of the region.
The Search for the Christ
What makes this telling of the resurrection story so compelling is that it comes at the story from a completely new perspective. By telling the story, not from the perspective of a believer, but from that of a Roman Centurion, the story takes on the air of a CSI or NCIS procedural show, where Clavius, as the dutiful soldier, is simply doing the bidding of Pilate (Firth) who is all about keeping the peace, preserving order, and making things look good for the Emperor’s visit in a few days. When first we see Clavius he is in the midst of putting down a new rebellion from the recently-released criminal Barabbas. After which Pilate sends Clavius to oversee the crucifixion and dispose of the body.
The Crucifixion of the Christ
The Hunt for Christ
When the Pharisees and scribes tell the Roman prefect, Pilate, that the followers of Jesus were claiming He would rise again in three days, and request to have soldiers guarding His tomb, in the event His followers try to steal the body and claim He had risen. To maintain a measure of order, Pilate gives the order to have soldiers posted near the tomb. However, after three days pass, the tomb was found to be empty (surprise!). This is when Clavius leads the investigation into the allegations that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead, as asserted by His disciples. However, the more Clavius doggedly pursues the trail of the missing body of Christ, the more he begins to see the truth of the stories he has heard. Eventually, he soon discovers himself on a road of self-discovery, as well as learning about this man they called Yahshua was, and why he was here among us.
The Search is on
The film takes a very secular look at a very religious topic, and does it in a very straightforward fashion. Never glamorizing nor romanticizing the topic. In fact, for the first two thirds of the film we really see this through the eyes of a non-believing Roman soldier — a man of war who really only believes or understands the things he can experience around him. So when he finally does meet the resurrected Christ the change that comes over him is even more powerful. This is kind of film that can be seen by both believers and non-believers; both of whom can take something away from the movie.