The Passion of the Christ

2004 film directed by Mel Gibson

The Passion of the Christ is a 2004 film is a depiction of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

Directed by Mel Gibson. Written by Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald.
By his wounds … we were healed (taglines)
One man changed the world … forever. (taglines)


An earlier depiction of Jesus' quote "I am the good shepherd". Stained glass at St. John's Anglican church, Ashfield, NSW, Australia.
  • I am the good shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep. No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down and the power to take it up again. This command is from my Father.
  • You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. If you love those who love you, what reward is there in that?
  • Take this and drink. This is my blood, spilled for you and for many. Do this in memory of me.
  • My heart is ready, Father. My heart is ready.
  • Peter, you could not watch even one hour with me?
  • Judas, you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?
  • Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.
  • Elahi, Elahi, lema sabachthani? ("My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?")
    • Traditionally untranslated in the Gospels
  • It is accomplished!
  • [Last lines] Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.


Satan: Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin?
Jesus: Shelter me, O Lord. I trust in you. In you I take my refuge.
Satan: No one man can carry this burden, I tell you. It is far too heavy. Saving their souls is too costly. No one. Ever. No. Never.
Jesus: Father, you can do all things. If it is possible, let this chalice pass from me … but let your will be done, not mine.
[Jesus starts to sweat blood and he collapses to the ground. He continues to mutter prayers and groan, as if in pain]
Satan: Who is your father? Who are you?
[A snake emerges out of Satan's cloak and it slithers its way to Jesus who eventually rises up, with determination and resolve in his eyes. He then exchanges looks with Satan before stomping on the snake approaching him, killing it. From a distance, Jesus notices torches coming]

[Flashback, in Nazareth, a young Jesus is crafting a tall table for his rich client]
Mary: [preparing some meal] Jesus! Jesus! [she goes to him] Are you hungry?
Jesus: Yes, I am.
Mary: [observes the table Jesus made] This is very tall.
Jesus: Yeah.
Mary: Who are you making it for?
Jesus: Why for a rich man.
Mary: [doubtful] So, does he like to eat standing up?
Jesus: [chuckles] No, he eats like so. [sits down in a stance that matches the table's height] Tall tables, and tall chairs. Well, I haven't made them yet.
[Mary tries to sit and see how her stance will fit the table's height. She suddenly loses her balance, making Jesus laugh]
Mary: [dismayed] This won't do at all! [walks back into the house with a laughing Jesus following her] Hey! Remove that filthy apron before you enter. [Jesus complies] And wash your hands! [Mary uses her vase to wash Jesus's hands who playfully teases her, much to her joy]

[ Pilate is inside his bedroom, reading from a scroll. He is suddenly distracted by knocking at the door. As he walks to the door to open it, his wife Claudia wakes up from a nightmare. Pilate is greeted by his tribune Abenader]
Abenader: Sir, there is trouble in the...
Pilate: [sternly] I thought I told you to not interrupt me in the middle of the night, Abenader!
Abenader: My apologies, sir.
Pilate: What is it?
Abenader: There is trouble brewing in the walls. Caiaphas has gathered a large crowd in the temple and he has taken a prophet under his custody.
Pilate: [referring to the prophet] Who is it?
Abenader: He is a Galilean. The Pharisees seem to hate the man.
Claudia: [gets up from her bed and interrupts Abenader] A Galilean? Who is this you're talking about?

Annas: [looks at Jesus with contempt and disgust, but he could barely recognize him because of the scars and bruises all over his face] Who is this man you brought to us? He's chained up like a criminal.
Temple guard: He is Jesus! [pulls Jesus closer] The Nazarene troublemaker!
Annas: You are Jesus of Nazareth?
[Jesus does not reply]
Caiaphas: They say you are a king. Where is this kingdom of yours? From what line of kings do you descend from?
Annas: [angrily] Speak up!
Caiaphas: You are just the son of some obscure carpenter, no? [the watching crowd chuckled]
Annas: Some say you are like the prophet Elijah, but he was carried off to the heavens in a chariot!
Caiaphas: Why won't you say something? You have been brought here as a blasphemer! What do you say to that? Defend yourself.
Jesus: I have spoken openly to everyone. I have taught in the temple where we all gathered. Ask those who have heard what I have to say.
Temple Guard: Is that how you address the High Priest? With arrogance? [strikes Jesus]
Jesus: If I have spoken evil, tell me what evil I have said. But if not, why do you hit me?
Annas: Yes, we will listen to those that have heard your blasphemies. Good! [sits beside Caiaphas and the other Pharisees] Let us hear them!
Accuser 1: He cures the sick, with the help of devils! I have seen it. [the crowd is shocked]
Accuser 2: He casts out devils, with the help of devils!
Accuser 3: He calls himself the king! The King of the Jews! [the crowd begins to jeer]
Accuser 4: No, he calls himself the Son of God! He said he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days! [angrily spits at Jesus]
Accuser 5: Worse! He claims he is the Bread of Life! And if we do not eat his flesh or drink his blood, we will not inherit eternal life! [the crowd throws insults on Jesus]
Caiaphas: [stands up] Silence! You are all under this man's spell. Either offer proof of his wrongdoing, or be quiet!
Joseph: [intervening on Jesus's behalf] This entire proceeding is an outrage! All I have heard from these "witnesses" is mindless contradiction! [the angry Pharisees proceed to kick him out, along with other Pharisees who try to defend Jesus]
Caiaphas: [glares at Jesus] Have you nothing to say at all? No answer to these accusations? Then, I ask you this, Jesus of Nazareth. Are you really the Messiah? Son of the living God?
Jesus: [after a moment of silence, he looks at the Pharisees and the crowd] I am. [everyone around him gasps in horror] And you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of God, and arriving from the clouds of heaven.
Caiaphas: [shocked] Blasphemy! [he angrily tears his robes] You all heard him! Why bother with witnesses when he himself has blasphemed! [to the angry crowd] What is your verdict?!
Crowd: [in unison] DEATH!

[After the verdict is passed, the Pharisees, the Temple guards, and the angry crowd viciously beat Jesus. Amidst the chaos, Peter tearfully watches Jesus until a member of the crowd confronts him]
Accuser 1: Hey, I know you! Aren't you one of the Galilean's followers?! Yes, it's him!
Peter: No! You're wrong! I've never met him before!
Accuser 2: [grabs Peter by the robe to try and stop him] Of course, you do! You are Peter! You are one of Jesus's disciples! Somebody, stop him!
Peter: [shoves everyone away] Stop it! Stop it, damn you! I swear, I don't know him! I have never seen that man! I don't know him!
[Jesus falls and as he tries to get up, he gazes at Peter who suddenly remembers what Jesus said to him hours ago]
Peter: I am ready to follow you wherever you go, my lord, to prison, even to death.
Jesus: Amen, I say to you, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times. [Peter is confused]
[Back at the present, realizing what he has done, Peter runs away in tears]

[After witnessing Jesus get beaten by the crowd, a remorseful Judas runs to the Pharisees to confront them]
Judas: [to Caiaphas] Release him! Please!
Caiaphas: [to the Temple guard] Let him through! He's harmless.
Judas: Release him! I beg of you. [pulls out the bag of silver that was given to him] Here, take back your money, I don't need it anymore! [desperately] I have betrayed an innocent man! Please, release him!
Caiaphas: [coldly] If you think you have betrayed an innocent man, then that is your affair. Just take your money, and go.
[Judas is shocked and before turning his back, he rubs his face on the bag of silver and hurls it at the Pharisees' feet. Caiaphas is angered]
[Outside, Judas lies on the street, all bloodied. A couple of children approaches him]
Child 1: Hey, mister! Are you alright? Do you need help?
Child 2: [noticing Judas's face] Look at him! He's bleeding, he's got blood all over his face!
Child 1: Yeah, you're right!
Judas: [angrily] Will you get away from me! You little Satans!
Children: [in unison] He's cursing at us! He's cursed!
[the children begins to jeer and point at Judas who tries to shove them away but as he stands up, the children's faces become demonic, to Judas's horror. Judas struggles to get away while the children continues to jeer at him]

Claudia: [concerned] Do not condemn this Galilean, he is holy. You will only bring more trouble to yourself.
Pilate: [irritated] You know what troubles me more, Claudia? This outpost, [referring to the crowd outside] and that filthy rabble out there.

Pilate: Drink?
[Jesus does not receive the cup and said no word. Pilate observes Jesus with curiosity]
Pilate: [in Hebrew] Are you the king of the Jews?
Jesus: [in Latin, surprising Pilate and all the Romans around Jesus] Does that question come from you, or do you ask me this because others have told you what I am?
Pilate: [continues in Latin] How can I come up with such a question myself? Am I a Jew? Your priests have delivered you to me and they want me to have you executed. Why? What did you do? Are you a king?
Jesus: [looks at Pilate] My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, do you think my servants would have allowed those men to deliver me to you in this manner?
Pilate: You are a king then?
Jesus: That is why I was born, to give testimony to the truth. Everyone who hears my voice hears the truth.
Pilate: Truth? What is truth?
[Jesus gives no reply as he gazes at Pilate]

Pilate: What is truth, Claudia? Do you hear it when it is spoken?
Claudia: Yes, I do. You don't know it?
Pilate: How? Tell me.
Claudia: [bluntly] If you do not want to hear it, no one will tell you.
Pilate: Truth? You want to know my truth, Claudia? I've been putting down rebellions in this rotten outpost for eleven years. If I don't condemn this man, I know that Caiaphas will start a rebellion. If I do, then this man's followers may. Either way, there will be bloodshed. [grows agitated] Caesar has warned me, Claudia, he has warned me twice! He swore that next time, the blood would be mine! That is my truth, Claudia!
[They are interrupted by Abenader barging in]
Abenader: Sir, Herod did not condemn the Galilean and he has returned him to you. We are also going to need more men.
Pilate: I don't want to start an uprising, Abenader.
Abenader: There is already an uprising.

[Jesus has just been returned to Pilate after King Herod finds him innocent of the Pharisees' charges. This causes an uproar across the city and Pilate sends out soldiers to pacify the growing mobs]
Pilate: King Herod has found no fault in Jesus, and neither have I. [the crowd jeered in disappointment, prompting Abenader to deploy soldiers to keep them under control]
Caiaphas: [to the crowd] Silence! Have you no respect for our kind Roman procurator?! [the crowd laughs]
Pilate: I have made it customary that every year, I release a prisoner to you, and right now, we are holding one: the murderer Barabbas!
[the Roman guards bring a filthy and bloodied Barabbas before the jeering crowd]
Pilate: Now who among these two men do you want me to set free? Barabbas? Or Jesus, your "Messiah"?!
Caiaphas: [referring to Jesus] He is no Messiah! He's an impostor! A blasphemer! [turns to Pilate] Set Barabbas free.
Crowd: [in a gleeful unison] FREE BARABBAS!
Pilate: [confused and appalled] Again I ask you! Who do you want me to set free?!
[the crowd repeats the same line, and Pilate acquiesces to their demands. Barabbas is then released, much to his joy while the crowd looks at him in disgust]
Pilate: What do you want me to do with Jesus?!
Pilate: [looks at Claudia, who is watching the trial from the veranda nearby] No! I will chastise him, and then I will set him free!
[the crowd is dismayed by the decision and they jeered at Jesus and the Romans]
Pilate: [to Abenader] See to it that the punishment is severe, Abenader, but make sure they don't kill the man.

[After a brutal scourging, a mutilated Jesus is brought before Pilate and Abenader, the latter being horrified at what the guards did to Jesus, but Pilate is barely surprised. He carefully pulls Jesus and presents him before the jeering crowd]
Pilate: [in both Hebrew and Latin] Behold the Man!
Pilate: [angrily] Is this not enough? Look at him! [the crowd continues to yell CRUCIFY HIM] You want me to crucify your king?
Caiaphas: King?! We have no king but Caesar!
Pilate: [turns to Jesus, in Latin] Speak to me, I have the power to have you crucified, or else set you free.
Jesus: [in Latin] You have no power over me, unless it is given to you from above, but he who has delivered me to you has the greater sin.
Caiaphas: If you release him, governor, you are no friend to Caesar!
[The jeering crowd begins to riot, provoking the Roman guards to brutally beat them back. Unwilling to cause an uprising, Pilate washes his hands and acquiesces to the crowd's demands]
Pilate: [to Caiaphas] Remember that it is you who wants him dead, not I! His blood is in your hands! [turns to Abenader] Abenader, do what they want.

[Jesus is now crucified on Calvary, in between two thieves.]
Gesmas: [groans in pain] If you are the son of God, why can't you save yourself? Prove to us that you are who you say you are! [the crowd laughs and the guards insult Jesus, gesturing him to come down]
Caiaphas: [approaches Jesus] You said you would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, but look at you. [to the crowd] If he is indeed the Messiah, I say he should come down from that cross, so that we may see and believe him!
Jesus: [sobbing and in pain, he looks up at the sky to pray] Father... forgive them, for... they know not what they do.
Dismas: [to Caiaphas] Listen, he's praying for you! [Caiaphas ignores him and leaves. Dismas then turns to Gesmas] We deserve this, Gesmas! He does not! [to Jesus, sobbing] My lord, I have sinned and I'm being punished justly. All that I ask of you is that you remember me when you enter your kingdom.
Jesus: [smiles weakly] Amen, I say to you... on this day... you will join me... in paradise...
[Dismas cries while Gesmas laughs with the crowd until a crow lands on the beam of his cross. The crow then plucks out his right eye. Gesmas lets out an agonizing scream while the guard below him scares off the crow before cringing in disgust as he looks at Gesmas's mutilated face]

[Hours have passed and the skies start darkening. The crowd and the Pharisees leave while Mary, Magdalene, and John are left behind. They pass through the guards and approach Jesus, crying]
Jesus: [struggles to speak] I... thirst.
[A sympathetic Roman guard takes a sponge from a bucket, it is soaked in vinegar. He has his fellow guard impale it on a spear and he gives the sponge to Jesus who drinks from it]
Mary: [looks at Jesus with tears in her eyes] Flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart. My son, let me die with you.
Jesus: [to Mary] Mother... Behold... your son! [turns to John] Son, behold... your mother! [John tearfully nods, assuring him his mother will be safe]
Gesmas: [noticing everyone has gone and he glares at Jesus] There is no one left! They have abandoned you, Jesus!
Jesus: [with all his strength] ELOI! ELOI! Lama Sabacthani! [turns to his friends and mother below him, softly] It is finished. [turns his head to the sky] Father... Into your hands... I give you... my spirit... [Jesus dies]
[A single raindrop, resembling a tear, drops from the heavens, triggering a powerful earthquake that shakes the whole city and damages the temple. The Roman guards guarding Jesus and the crucified criminals are ordered by Abenader to break their legs. Cassius, the sympathetic Roman guard, could not break Jesus's leg]
Abenader: Cassius! Come on, do it!
Cassius: [dropping his hammer] He's dead!
Abenader: [tosses his spear to him] Make sure!
[Cassius reluctantly complies. He pierces Jesus's corpse and blood sprays out of it. Cassius's face is sprayed all over, causing him to fall to the ground, dumbstruck. Abenader and the other Roman guards are shocked, finally realizing what they have done to Jesus]

Quotes about The Passion of the Christ

  • This has been germinating inside me for 10 years. I have a deep need to tell this story. It's part of your upbringing, but it can seem so distant. The Gospels tell you what basically happened; I want to know what really went down.
  • I felt like a great presence came within me at times when we were filming. This prayer that came from me was, "I don't want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. And through that, conversions will happen." That's what I wanted more than anything, that people would have a visceral effect to finally make a decision whether to follow Him or not.
  • When that Jesus movie came out, Jews didn't want people to see it. Everybody blames the Jews for killing Christ, and then the Jews try to pass it up on the Romans.
  • The lacerating detail in which the torture of Jesus is portrayed in the film, it seems to me, is a way of diverting attention from these alarming elements of reactionary propaganda. It isn't all that hard to upset Jews, as Gibson must have known he would, and it's even possible to suspect him of doing so in order to create a climate of emotional publicity.
  • To be fair to [Mel Gibson], he has made what is now probably the definitive movie on the Easter story, The Passion of the Christ, which, when it first came out, was subjected to quite a lot of criticism and abuse, mainly because it's a cynical piece of gratuitous trash aimed at simple-minded born-again plankton. And for this reason it made a lot of money, so now some Hollywood studios get a panel of Christians to vet their movies before release just to make sure they won't offend any ignorant born-again shit-kickers who might happen to be watching. The future looks bright for American culture, wouldn't you say?
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