Tough role to play
Toward the close of my message this past Sunday morning I related the experience of actor Jim Caviezel who played Christ in the 2004 movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” The film was “birthed in pain,” he said in an interview. From the get-go there were difficulties: Director Mel Gibson was being accused of being anti-Semitic, and there were challenges of language and climate, but these were merely the beginning.
While filming a cross-carrying scene Caviezel suffered a shoulder separation. Early on he became ill and as fluid filled his lungs he was eventually diagnosed with pneumonia. During takes of the scourging of Christ a misplaced whip missed the protective hidden-from-camera metal plate behind him, wrapping the bladed scourge around him, tearing his flesh and leaving a 14” gash on his back! Later, as Caviezel lugged the cross up the mountainside Caviezel felt an evil presence. A dark and troubling storm had been brewing when, Caviezel said, all went silent. Astonished onlookers said his body glowed — he had been struck by lightning!
On the cross, shoulder dislocated, lungs fluid-filled, chest and back whip-scarred, and body shaken by lightning filming paused as the set doctor examined him.
“Mel… he can die!” He said.
“No film is worth anyone dying,” said Gibson and he asked Caviezel what He wanted to do.
“This was between me and God,” Caviezel later reflected. ”I was ready to die making this movie.” Silently he prayed, “It’s OK if I die here… Bring it on!”
Caviezel knew his talent was from God. He felt very much called to take this part and so took his role very seriously. He remained in character between shots and continued in prayer throughout the filming. He was also very conscious of own sin. His normal 210 lb bodyweight had diminished to 168 lb and he later required heart surgery. But Caviezel had remained faithful. He had stayed the course, he had completed the task he had been called to do.
“Everyone wants the resurrection but suffering goes with resurrection,” he later commented.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).
What tough role has God given you to play? Now is your moment of opportunity.
To view the Jim Caviezel interview cited above, see below or CLICK HERE.