In 1988, I did a bad thing. Well, I didn’t think it was bad, but the fact that other people did made it all the more delicious.
I went to see the movie “The Last Temptation of Christ.”
Kind of funny now, I know, but back then, during the height of the furor around the movie, it felt naughty. It wasn’t playing in the conservative city where I attended a Christian college, so a friend and I drove for an hour to see it, giddy with anticipation of the blasphemy to come.
The movie did not disappoint. A Jesus who waffled, unsure of who he was and what his message was? Check. Sexual overtones with Mary Magdalene? Check. Extensive fantasy scene in which he comes off the cross, doesn’t die for our sins and even confronts later Christians with his physical, non-dead presence? Check.
I giggled in glee at the prospect of writing my review for the school paper.
But then there was one scene that didn’t go for shock value, and that one scene made me reevaluate not just the movie, but my appreciation of Jesus’ story.
The Garden of Gethsemane…