Resurrection Sunday 2020 Redux

My wife and I enjoyed an unusual Resurrection Sunday last week and I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts about it.

I was a Roman Catholic for twenty-seven years before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and the Catholic liturgical calendar is one holy day/holiday after another, so I had my fill of that and generally don’t get as hepped up about holidays as many others do. We were also a bit stressed out last weekend. My wife is not feeling well with her scoliosis issues. Then there’s the ongoing COVID-19 situation and all that that entails. The pandemic lockdown mean’t our oldest son and his family wouldn’t be coming over for dinner like they usually do on Resurrection Sunday. On top of that, our 13YO dog, Gracie, was at the emergency veterinary hospital over the weekend and in light of the prognosis, we thought she wasn’t coming back home.* But our God is sovereign over our circumstances and we got the day rolling.

*At 9 a.m., my wife and I sat on the couch together and watched the live stream of our church’s Resurrection Day service, which was a blessing!

*I then sent the “That’s My King” video to our two unsaved sons, which fellow WordPress blogger, Hope, had posted earlier. It’s tough not to stand up and holler for Jesus while watching that video.

*My wife and I joined in on a Zoom call via our iPhones  with my three sisters in Naples, Florida, my nephew and his wife in New Orleans, my niece in Arizona, and my cousin in North Carolina.

*I then baked up some fresh biała (not smoked) Polish kielbasa/sausage for dinner. Gotta have kielbasa and horseradish on Resurrection Sunday! (Please don’t tell my primary physician.)

*In the afternoon, my wife asked me to watch her DVD of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” (2004), so we sat and watched that for two hours. For those of you who have never seen the movie, Gibson is a traditionalist Roman Catholic and the movie unabashedly pushes the Catholic view of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix.” Allow me to explain. Not only do Catholics believe Mary was sinless, but many/most Catholic theologians and prelates also believe Mary redeems souls in cooperation with Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XV stated in 1918:

“She (Mary) suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and, in a sense, offered Christ’s sacrifice to God the Father as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race.”

Past popes hesitated in declaring this popular Co-Redemptrix belief as dogma because they knew it would further alienate Protestants. Pope Francis has publicly stated that he’s not interested in defining the belief as binding dogma.

Anyway, there are several scenes in “The Passion of the Christ” that definitely promote the view of Mary as Co-Redemptrix. I mentioned that to my wife afterwards and she heartily disagreed with me, saying she saw nothing wrong with the way Mary was portrayed. Argh! My wife doesn’t get into the complexities of Catholic theology like I do, so after some fruitless discussion, I determined it was the better part of valor just to drop it. However, I did some googling and found the Catholic article below, which boasts about how “Passion” definitely pushes the view of Mary as Co-Redemptrix with citations of specific scenes:

Gibson’s Passion and Mary Co-Redemptrix | EWTN

Gibson is coming out with a “Passion” sequel next year about Jesus’s second coming and I’m sure that will also have a Catholic slant. Be discerning my friends.

So, that was my eventful Resurrection Sunday. I hope you had a good one, too! Jesus is risen and He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He’s NOT prostrate on Catholic altars as a consecrated host being offered up as a sacrifice!

Postscript: The androgynous Satan character in “The Passion of the Christ” (portrayed by Italian actress, Rosalinda Celentano) is decidedly creepy (photo top right). The “angel of light” would have people believe he is a hideous ogre while he does his actual work through the friendly smiles (photo bottom right), accommodations, and compromises in the cause of ecumenical unity. I note that the visual clips in the otherwise excellent “That’s My King” video are taken from “The Passion of the Christ” movie. There’s all kinds of leavening going on out there.

*Gracie is now home and doing well.

35 thoughts on “Resurrection Sunday 2020 Redux

  1. Even when I was a practicing RC I still couldn’t watch that movie… in fact if I’m not mistaken it found its way to the garbage.
    I do really like the sermon given by S M Lockridge! \o/

    How is your Gracie??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Beth. The scenes involving the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus are stomach-turning. Maybe the movie is valuable for some for graphically showing what took place at a Roman scourging and crucifixion. The Mary as Co-Redemptrix doctrine is weaved into the story somewhat subtly and many evangelical viewers don’t pick up on it.
      Yes, that Lockridge sermon snippet makes me wanna holler for Jesus! \o/
      Thanks for asking about Gracie! She is recovering nicely. Even took her for a short walk yesterday. My wife and I and the vets thought she was terminal just one week ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You may giggle at me but when I saw Jesus Christ Superstar on VHS for the first time-I knew Jesus was lashed 40x’s-when I saw him getting whipped-I cried-I didn’t even have the concept of Who Jesus really was at the time…
        Yes I agree on that sermon with you! I’ve shared it on WordPress before \o/
        Yay, Gracie!!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I had to choke back the tears (to retain my manly pride) while watching the Jesus character being so savagely abused. In that sense I think the movie is good because it brings home what a Roman crucifixion really entailed. But I’m guessing the Lord’s greatest suffering was being made sin for us and suffering our judgement/separation from the Father. Maybe we’ll learn about at least a degree of that suffering for us when we get to Heaven. Thanks from Gracie! It’s nice to have the ol’ girl back home.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yes! Any movie where we SEE the penalty He paid for us… wow just WOW! Then I think of this:
        Matthew 26:67

        67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,…

        Gracie keeps you physically walking 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yes, the horrific abuse God the Son endured for us, when He could have wiped out the Sanhedrin and Roman forces with just a thought…what incredible love!

        Yup, Gracie keeps me going with our daily walk! It’s going to take awhile to get her back to a long walk. The short walk yesterday wiped her out!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. True, Tom! Maybe I did not give focus on mary due to faith differences or that the portrayal of JESUS’ suffering had lasting effect on me. Yes, I did use the scourging and crucifixion still images on the, “Jesus Paid it All” worship video (in 2008) as a reminder of JESUS’ love for us. And I would agree with you that TPOTC is valuable for that. Thanks, Tom.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As a Catholic, I can tell you why this grotesque film had a sort of “ecumenical” appeal when it came out, despite contradictions with scripture, such as Christ being tempted by the devil in the Garden of Gethsemane, instead of being fortified by an angel.

    For certain traditionalist Catholics, it resonates with the Way of the Cross.

    For Protestants, the appeal was in its portrayal of pure Penal Substitutionary Atonement, which goes beyond the Catholic Satisfaction model.

    It sickened every else.

    Any notion of Mary as a Co-Redemptrix in that film is a figment of your fevered imagination.


    1. RE: Any notion of Mary as a Co-Redemptrix in that film is a figment of your fevered imagination.

      Absolute nonsense. You obviously didn’t read the EWTN article I attached. Try to refrain from shooting from the hip next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, Tom! I have to be honest, The Passion of the Christ had a profound affect on me. The movie came out a month or two after I was saved. Every whip, blow, lash I saw myself as being the one to do that to Jesus. I have seen the movie a few times since then and I have had to force myself to not turn away from the screen. I knew before seeing the movie all those years ago that Mel was Catholic. I never noticed (nor would I have understood) that about Mary, thank you for bringing this to my attention. I do know some have used the movie to promote antisemitism. Tom, I am thankful for you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mandy! Yes, I can very much see how this movie can help a believer to understand just how brutal the beatings, scourging, and crucifixion of our Lord was. It’s valuable in that regard. Without a historical understanding we just gloss over the Gospel account without understanding the depth of it. Most evangelicals are not going to pick up on the Mary Co-Redemptrix message in the film because they’re not familiar with the doctrine. I was glad to find the EWTN article as supporting documentation. Yes, Matthew 27:25 quoted in the movie was also used by the Catholic church to justify anti-Semitism for centuries. Thanks for the support and encouragement, Mandy! Have a blessed rest of your Lord’s day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Tom…I greatly value the Lord’s Day and am grieved that we are being prevented from obeying His command to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for worship in the church (Heb 10:25). Online services, while better than no church, are just not cutting it.

    Anyway, I’ve long given up on man-made traditions such as Christmas and Easter. They are not Biblical, but sinful, syncretistic accommodations to pagan, pre-Christian tradition that Rome employed as a missionary adaptation strategy. God would not have us worship Him as the heathen worship their gods (Deut. 12:28-32).

    That being said, I’m supremely grateful that Jesus became a man, having been born of a woman, and that he gave Himself for me and all His people and was resurrected, thus securing our redemption and eternal life. Its because of His resurrection on the first day of the week that Christians worship on Sundays instead of the Jewish sabbath on Saturdays.

    We should consider every Lord’s Day as Resurrection day; not Easter, the name of which betrays its origin as derived from the name of the pagan goddess of the dawn, Oestre (cf. Ishtar/Ashtoreth/Astara). That tradition comes from sun worship and its obsession with the wheel of the year, based on the movement of the sun, with its solstices and equinoxes. Easter is the festival of the spring equinox, while Christmas is the festival of the winter solstice. The formula for determining the date of “Easter” is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This is not a Biblical formula, but an astrological/astronomical one tied to the spring equinox. You didn’t use the name “Easter,” however we all know that last Sunday was the Easter celebration by most Christians.

    I had been one of those Christians, over 15 years ago, who got caught up in the interest of Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” as much as any other. Upon actually viewing it, I knew there were serious problems with it, but didn’t know much at all about what it was saying about Roman Catholic beliefs. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I’m very concerned about Gibson’s sequel. It was a quest to understand the origins of Dispensational theology and its obsessions with the “Rapture,” the “Great Tribulation,” and the “Antichrist” that lead me to understand that “all roads lead to Rome.” This system, prevalent among Evangelicals, has its origins in the Jesuit Counter-Reformation, and had as its goal the displacement of the understanding of the Roman Catholic church/Papal system as the fulfilment of those sinister figures in prophecy relating to those elements of eschatology. If Gibson tries to portray Christ’s return, you can bet that it will be consistent with Dispensational eschatology, seeing as how Rome invented it, and will be extremely popular among Evangelicals. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hos 4:6a)

    Tom, thanks for bearing with this “rant.” What wrong with kielbasa that your doctor wouldn’t approve?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Contendia. Yes, these online services are definitely not the same, but I’m grateful for the technology. I started as a new Christian in a fundamentalist church so I’m very familiar with all of the information regarding the pagan origins of Christmas and Easter. Each believer must follow there own conscience before the Lord when it comes to these “holidays.” We have several other traditions of pagan origin in our culture such as wedding rings and other wedding rites, portions of our funerary rites, birthday celebrations, the symbolic lady justice of our court systems, days of the week, months of the year, no 13th floor in high-rises. Some Christians can celebrate Christmas and Easter in good conscience before the Lord while others cannot.
      RE: kielbasa
      I have high cholesterol and take a statin daily so eating very high-fat kielbasa is counterproductive.


      1. Tom…I understand what you’re saying about the pagan influences in the culture such as the names of the days of the week, etc. That’s one thing that we most likely can’t do anything about, but worship is an entirely different matter. Once we know the pagan origins of Christmas & Easter, the Lord expects us to reject it as instructed in Deuteronomy 12. Worship is to be done His way; nothing is to be added or taken away from Scriptural instruction. Admittedly, we will fall short, but once we are aware, we have no excuses. Also, church leadership is culpable for allowing and perpetuating these practices in worship; acting as if these man-made traditions are what God likes and approves of when Scripture says He doesn’t. Or they fear that they won’t attract attendance in church if they don’t follow what people want; fearing man more than God. I believe that’s one of the reasons for the warnings to leaders not to lead astray His “little ones.” They, the leaders who lead astray, will receive the greater judgment.

        Regarding cholesterol, I encourage you to check out the work of some very helpful and knowledgeable folks on YouTube who helped me understand the role of cholesterol in the body and in heart disease. These folks include Ivor Cummins, biochemical engineer (his channel is his name), Nadir Ali,MD chief cardiologist at University of Houston Medical Center at Clear Lake, Texas (his channel is called Eat Mostly Fats), Jeffrey Gerber, MD (look for him on Low Carb Down Under and High Intensity Health channels). Ivor and Jeffrey wrote a book together which dispels the conventional idea that cholesterol causes heart disease. It’s called “Eat Rich, Live Long.” It has strategies for reducing risk of heart disease, based on it’s actual cause, recipes for low carbohydrate eating and easily understood explanations of the true role of cholesterol in the body and the true causes of heart disease. Another great resource for truthful information is Malcolm Kendrick, MD who is on various YouTube channels, writes his own blog on true causes of heart disease and wrote the book, “The Great Cholesterol Con.”

        Lastly, if you watch any of Ivor’s videos, you will invariably hear him promote the use of the CAC/Coronary CT/Calcium score for determining the true extent of heart disease. It’s a CT scan of the heart which visually represents the calcification of cardiac arteries caused by atherosclerosis and produces a score. Ivor can explain it better. I got it done and found out, that even though I had high LDL cholesterol, I had no heart disease, and I have never taken a statin. If you go down this rabbit trail, you will find out that higher cholesterol is immune protective and results in lower all-cause mortality in older adults.

        Regarding the use of statin medication, I highly suggest you check out a presentation or two from David Diamond, MD who himself suffers from Familial Hypercholesterolemia and refutes the claims of effectiveness of statin medication and demonstrates their harmful effects.

        As with understanding Biblical/theological truth, with health truth, we must do our own research to know if our doctors are giving us sound advice.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Contendia, I have seen folks here at WordPress and elsewhere use the Christmas/Easter issue as a litmus test for salvation. If a person doesn’t believe exactly the same way as they do about the issue, then the other person’s salvation is called into question. No need to continue the discussion. I’m done.
        Thanks for the info on cholesterol.


    1. Thanks, Crissy! We are very happy to have the ol’ girl back home with us.
      RE: Passion
      Several months ago I saw a show on TBN with evangelical televangelist Greg Laurie sitting with Mel Gibson. Catholic Gibson was plugging his upcoming “Passion” sequel. So much compromise and betrayal of the Gospel in evangelicalism these days. I’m sure the “Passion” sequel will also have plenty of doctrinal error.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of those things where a believer can enjoy the meat and spit out the bones (not the best analogy with all of the graphic scenes), but, yeah, the Catholic subtleties are there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, evangelicals think he’s saved but he’d be the first one to admit that he’s trying to merit his salvation. Traditionalist Catholic Gibson happily took evangelicals’ money when they saw “Passion” and he’ll do it again when his end-of-the-world sequel is released, but he believes they’re all going to hell because they’re not Catholic as per his quotes in the excellent 12-page article below:

        Liked by 1 person

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