The Passion of the Christ (2004) 

New: Mel Gibson has released a new cut of the film that has removed the more brutal scenes of violence, to make it more suitable for wide audiences. Shots of the whip and barbs tearing into flesh have been removed. Five minutes of the scourging have been taken out. Blood no longer spurts when the nails are driven into Jesus' hands, nor is the scene of Jesus' shoulder being dislocated involved. I highly recommend this re-cut version.
"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, and by his wounds we are healed..." The words from Isaiah, written 700 years before the crucifixion, are the only introduction to this remarkable film. On a moonlit night the clouds part and bathe a figure crying out in a garden, his soul wracked with torment, in white light. The man is the Messiah, Jesus, who only days before was welcomed into Jerusalem as a holy man and king. His disciples are asleep nearby, despite his pleadings for them to stay awake and pray with him. From the shadows a figure observes, mesmerizing but evil to the very marrow of his soul. The shadow is Satan and deception and selfishness are his tools as he urges the Christ to give up this road, to let mankind atone for their own sins. But Jesus refuses to submit to the seductive lies of the deceiver and symbolically crushes Satan's pet serpent under his heel.
In the Jewish Temple Judas stands before the High Priests. He has been promised thirty pieces of silver for betraying the Christ. The coins scatter around him on the floor and he hastily bends to pick them up. Torches illuminate the night as he leads them to the Gardens to arrest the Messiah. The disciples resist but Jesus comes willingly into the Temple Court. At the moment of his arrest Mary, his mother, awakens in torment, certain something terrible is happening. John has managed to escape and comes to fetch her and Mary Magdalene. They are not allowed inside the counsel but there Jesus is questioned, slandered, spit on, and sent to the Romans in order to plead for his execution. Pontius Pilate's wife Claudia has awoken from a nightmare and begs him not to sentence the "king of the Jews" to death. But Jesus has been sent to earth to bear the burden of sin for mankind. The penalty is persecution, merciless beating, and eventual crucifixion.
One of the most emotionally disturbing but profoundly touching films to come out in a long time, The Passion of the Christ has arisen great controversy. As a Christian I look at it and see only what Jesus suffered for me. He died for my sins. He went through this abominable torment so Satan could no longer claim me because of my inability to be perfect -- the only way God could accept any of us. I believe every Christian needs to see this at some point in their lives. Yes, it's emotionally draining. It's disturbing seeing Jesus mercilessly whipped by laughing Roman soldiers. It's disturbing seeing Judas driven mad by demons and hang himself with the rope off a rotting donkey carcass. But it's something as Christians we NEED to see. The cleaned up, non-bloody Easter version is not enough. It's not realistic. It's not what happened.
From a purely film critic's perspective this film is visually stunning to the point of being overwhelming. Much of its subject matter is extremely dark but mesmerizing. The slow arch of the bag of coins as it flies through the air into Judas' outstretched hand... a close up of Mary Magdalene as Jesus cries "It is finished"... the tears on her face, the wind slowly caressing her hair... the captivating but disturbing image of Satan watching Jesus flogged nearly to death with great pleasure, holding a child-like demon in his arms. These characters are real. You empathize with the good and hate the bad. For an instant when he first appears you're mesmerized by Satan, wondering if the apparition (made to appear transsexual or without specific gender) is an angel... but then you realize the truth. The malice in its eyes, the cold deception of its words. Jesus is someone you instinctively love. You pity Him, feel each of the blows... flashbacks illuminate moments of His extraordinary life. The acting is so good you don't even think about the actors... it's too real. I loved the enhancement on James Caviezel's eyes... they are absolutely spellbinding, full of love throughout torment.
I need not say this is a heart-breaking experience, an exceptionally difficult thing to watch, but it also contains delicate glimpses into history, culture, and scripture. It shows how powerfully Jesus impacted those around him, even those who didn't know Him. Pilate's wife Claudia and her nightmares, pleading with her husband to let Jesus go. Peter's grief at denying Him three times before the morning. The strange, mingled reactions of the Jewish High Priests at the crucifixion. Two Roman soldiers forced to proceed with the execution. One falls to his knees when it is over, having been sympathetic toward Christ throughout. A woman who sees Jesus fall in his long walk through the streets and wipes the blood from his face. Simon, who was forced to carry his cross. All are touched... all are aware this is no ordinary man. There are mild deviations from scripture (namely the Roman centurion fails to say "He was the Son of God!") and a few of the writers' additions are unexplained, but the film is one we should all see at least once. If you're a Christian, you need to understand The Sacrifice, and if you're not... you need to understand why we believe.



Jesus is beaten and flogged flogged; his body is mutilated almost beyond recognition by a whip with glass in it. You actually see the tears as they're created and once raw flesh ripping. He's dragged out of the courtyard in a pool of blood. They continue beating, hitting, mocking, and spitting on Him while he drags the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. We endure seeing a nail go through his hand with gruesome effects, then hear his other hand and feet nailed into the wood. (After his shoulder is dislocated.) Soldiers dump the cross over and fix down the bloody ends before hoisting it into the ground with a painful thump. The thieves legs are broken in order to hasten death. The Romans piece Jesus' side to make certain he's dead. A crow lands on the thief's cross and tries to peck out his eye, bloodying the side of his face. Judas shows signs of self-scarring and internal bleeding.



One of the best things about Mel Gibson's film is that it never comes right out and screams things at you. Most of its power dwells in symbolism... things you wouldn't expect but that take you by surprise. Some of them are downright inexplicable but others more understood by the careful observer. The following is comprised of theories about some of the more unusual aspects of the film. If you have a theory not covered here, or that differs from our speculations, please let me know.
Jesus in the Garden
Knowing his time of suffering was near, Jesus sought time to pray. He asked his followers to also devote time to prayer but instead they fell asleep. Jesus was very upset but the scripture only says he was disturbed in His spirit. He cried out to God, pleading for this banner to be taken from Him, but willing to do it if it was necessary. It makes sense that at this pivotal moment Satan would be nearby. He failed to dissuade Jesus from the path of righteousness in the desert, so would use whatever opportunity was presented.
The first thing to notice is how mesmerizing Satan is when he first appears. His form is neither masculine (though his voice is) or feminine, but an eerie illusion of both. Satan is not human. He is not male or female. He is a spirit just as all angels are and, ultimately, as God is. Films in the past have made the mistake, when they show him at all, of making him too easily identifiable as a "man." He is not a man. He is not human. He is not male. But he is addressed as a "he" because we have no word for a nonsexual being. I was pleased with Mel's choice in this respect, casting someone who had both a feminine and masculine appearance in the right context. Satan is attractive. When he was in heaven, he was considered the most magnificent of all God's created beings. The audience is drawn to him at first but then the facade is torn in two... as we realize there's something disturbing, profoundly wrong, with this character. Maybe it's the eerie eyes, or the deceptive voice as it encourages Jesus to give up, not to sacrifice Himself for the vermin (mankind), that they won't care anyway...
It's the maggot that usually startles people... appearing momentarily in Satan's nose before crawling back up inside. Maggots feed on dead flesh. They reside in decaying things. They're considered one of the most grotesque, revolting things on earth because they feed off death. This is important. Jesus represents Life. He came to earth in order to die for our sins, so that Death would no longer have a hold over us. Death is Satan's greatest weapon! Once you're dead, you have no further chances. You belong to him! Before Jesus' death there were no guarantees. Only those who gave regular blood sacrifices in the temple were granted assurances of eternity. Blood sacrifices were necessary because the wages of sin is death; something has to die for our sins. The sacrifices were not the salvation of those who sought repentance, but merely a means of delaying the inevitable. There was no Heaven or Hell prior to Jesus' resurrection; therefore you were not saved by sacrifices, but taken to a place of waiting -- Paradise, or Hades. In order to break this hold, Jesus -- a man without sin -- had to die, thereby taking all the sins of the world onto His shoulders, spilling his blood (the source of Life).
This is what makes the maggot important. If Jesus is Life, Satan is Death. The maggot symbolizes that he is decaying, a wretched, abhorrent force who feeds off the misery and blood of others. The maggot is also important in later scenes... after betraying Jesus, note that Judas seems to have a lot of problems with his nose itching... as though he as contracted a maggot. He frantically scratches his nose and does himself great damage clawing at his face, as though the creature has burrowed into his brain.
UPDATED: Also important in this scene is the snake. Serpents symbolize Satan, since that's his first recorded form on earth. He came to Eve as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. As punishment, God said that the heel of man would crush the head of the snake. Jesus stomping it to death is a valid piece of symbolism that sets the tone for the course of the film. Satan against Christ. Good triumphing over evil. Jesus wins!
Judas and the Children
There are many theories about Judas himself, who has never been portrayed with so much compassion. It is a fact that God ordained His son to die for our sins, therefore at some point someone would have to betray him. It didn't have to be Judas. He made the choice to betray his Lord for thirty coins. Now first and foremost, we cannot categorize Judas as an abominable character without feeling. I believe he felt there would be no great damage done to Jesus with his betrayal. He thought the Holy Priests would drag Jesus into the temple and scream at him for a couple of hours. If He made it as far as Pilate, the Roman would find Him innocent and let Him go. So from Judas' perspective, this wasn't an attempt to have Jesus killed. That thought never crossed his mind! It was just an easy way to make a profit, not realizing their plans for the Christ.
When he discovered what he'd set in motion (he even almost changes his mind in the garden, when meeting Jesus' eyes) Judas shows immediate repentance and horror. He tries to give the coins back to the Pharisees and when they refuse to take them, throws them on the ground and leaves them. Curled up outside the temple in the darkness, Judas is experiencing both physical and psychological torment for his crime. His face is cracked and bleeding -- either the result of tearing himself to relieve an inward itch (the maggot theory) or from internal bleeding; the evil spreading through him so rapidly that it overwhelms his senses and starts his brain to bleeding. Some children are playing with a ball nearby and see him. They come forward curiously and inquire if he's all right... but then seeing his scars and state of mind, they start screaming that he's cursed, under a bad curse for something he's done.
Judas is enraged and grabs one of the children -- only to discover it isn't a child. It's a demon. They refuse to leave him alone, chasing him into the desert where he finally falls down and covers up his head, screaming to be let alone. When he looks up, the children are gone (Satan was also seen momentarily among them) and there is only a rotten, maggot-infested (once again, maggots!) donkey carcass beside him, beneath a tree. In his despair, Judas kills himself. I've thought a great deal about the "children," and here's my theory: Judas was guilt-ridden about what he had done. If an adult would have come and taunted him, he would have been provoked to anger. Because he's an adult, he's on level ground with everyone else. Children are the symbol of innocence and purity. To disappoint a child is something few adults can stand. So to have children (innocence) accuse him of being "cursed," it drove him over the edge. From an adult he would have told them where to get off; from the mouths of children come truth, as it were. So he was afraid of the children, where he might not have been with a full-grown demon.
The demons were imitating innocence accusing him of a dreadful crime, so he killed himself out of guilt and torment. He couldn't stand them any longer. In that sense, the children were a representation of our own conscience. The premise of Christianity is that God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. Even when we make terrible mistakes, He can still forgive us. Satan's greatest weapon is guilt. He convinces us we aren't worthy of Christ's sacrifice, that the thing we did was the worst thing anyone has ever done and couldn't possibly be forgiven. Our head fills with screaming voices, accusations -- we're cursed, we're dead! what have we done? we did something terrible! -- the metaphorical version of the children chasing and taunting Judas. There are only two ends to guilt. Suicide, which is the option Judas chose, or getting down on your knees and begging not only for God's forgiveness, but also the ability to forgive ourselves. Satan's greatest weapon against us is guilt, making us chew over something we've done wrong until it eats us up inside. 
The way to get over guilt, to remove the literal mallet from the devil's fingertips, is to seek forgiveness. The Bible talks a lot about confessing to others your wrongdoing and seeking to make things right. This is for several reasons: once your horrible little secret is out, other people know about it. The devil can no longer shame you for keeping something concealed. The other people can reassure you, help you if you need it, force you to be honest about the problem. When it comes to addictions, bad thoughts, things of this nature, this is very important. You can't do it alone... someone has to keep you responsible for your actions. Not wanting to admit failing will help you stay on the straight and narrow, which means you're not sinning anymore... so the devil has nothing left to torment you with. Guilt can be overcome once you convince yourself that the other person has forgiven you; it's time to forgive yourself.
Another point to make here is what happened in the Garden, when Judas was hiding among the trees and Jesus fell over the wall. He saw compassion and forgiveness in Jesus' eyes... right before looking into the face of a demon hiding in the shadows when Christ was pulled back up. It's enough to drive anyone mad.
The Dead Donkey
Brooke's theory concerning the importance of the maggot-infested donkey Judas discovered on the outskirts of the city, after being chased and driven mad by demons.
Remember when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, victorious and triumphant? He rode into the city as a king on a donkey. Judas, especially, was anxious to establish Christ's kingdom here on earth (that I believe was his biggest motive for betraying Jesus). Seeing the donkey--the very creature Jesus rode as King--dead, decayed, and full of maggots was another ultimate mockery. The donkey symbolized all of Judas' hopes and dreams of glory. What became of his hopes? They were all dead--as disgusting as the rotting donkey. Note the look Satan gives Judas right before we notice the donkey. Directly after the demon-children disappear, Judas uncovers his ears and looks around incredulously as if to say, Oh, they're gone. Then Satan glances at him in a singular fashion. Its almost as if he were gloating over his torment. Very good--your hopes are dead, see? What have you to live for? Just kill yourself; its your only way out.
Pontius Pilate
One of the best things about the film is the effect Jesus has on people, even during his suffering. The soldier whose ear was healed in the gardens. The single voice of opposition in the Jewish Temple. The African slave in Herod's court. Pilate's wife Claudia. The Roman who stopped the scourging. Simon, the random figure picked out of the crowd to carry Jesus' cross for Him. At first Simon didn't want anything to do with him... but by the time they reached halfway to their destination, he was willing to DIE for Jesus. He told the soldiers to stop beating Him, or he wouldn't carry the cross another step. The woman and child in the house as the crowd was passing... the woman felt something, a profound grief; the child burst into tears, not even seeing what was happening. Another woman in the street, who wiped the blood from Jesus' face and tried to offer him water. The Roman at the cross who was unwilling to break Christ's legs, and fell to his knees when the Messiah had died. Even the robber on the cross beside him.
Jesus was very charismatic... He was wonderful. He was everything forgiveness and goodness and light. People were drawn to Him. He could make things happen... He stopped a woman (the film presumes it is Mary Magdalene) from being stoned to death. It makes sense, therefore, that everyone would be affected by Him. Even Herod visibly reacts. Which brings us to Pontius Pilate, the notorious "bad guy" who "washed his hands" of Jesus altogether. People tend to scoff and sneer at him but he was in a terrible position. In order to understand him you must have some back history. Pilate was in charge of keeping order in Jerusalem, particularly during the time when the Passover commenced, which brought thousands of people to the city. He had been incredibly brutal on the Jews and sentenced many of them to death, so many that Rome became concerned he was enraging the locals and possibly creating a rebellion against their leadership. Pilate was called before Caesar and told to lay off such rampant slaughter.
You do not thumb your nose at Caesar. They didn't just kill you back then for disobedience... they killed your entire family! If Pilate would have sentenced Jesus to death personally, his wife, any children, and the entire household would have been condemned to death. He believed it would spark a rebellion among the followers of Christ toward Rome. Yet if he did not persecute Jesus and instead released him, it might rise up the other Jews against Rome for failing to carry out a death sentence. You see his problem? Pilate invited Jesus into the inner courtyard and asked him questions. He found "nothing wrong" with Jesus' answers, and no reason to kill him. Therefore he passed the ball -- sent him to Herod instead, who likewise refused to condemn Christ because there was no malice in Him. So the ball once more landed in Pilate's court. He did not beat Jesus out of malice, but for his own salvation... he would be whipped and then released. Surely the priests would be happy with a beating. But they weren't... they wanted death so badly they would rather have a notorious murderer released than Jesus.
I'd never really felt empathy for him before this film; for the first time, when he looked at Jesus and Barabbas, I realized how shocked and horrified he was that they would want the murderer back over an innocent man. Pilate was touched. He knew inwardly, though he might not have been consciously aware of it, that this man was the son of God. He was convicted... when he asked Claudia if she knew "truth when it is spoken," he was actually wrestling with His own soul. You cannot look into the face of Christ without feeling something. It is either a feeling of hatred and revulsion (Satan, the evil Roman soldiers, the Pharisees), wonder and awe (Herod, Pilate, Claudia, the Romans at the cross) or absolute adoration (Mary Magdalene, Peter).
I believe sincerely this is how people also feel about this film. It's not merely a movie... it's a supernatural, spiritual experience. You go through one of the aforementioned emotions. If you're determined to reject Christ, as so many reviewers and secularists do, you hate the movie. It's an abomination. You use any excuse you can because you cannot bear thinking this man might have died for you. Or you're a seeker... you wonder if it's true, if Jesus really could love the world so much he would experience such terrible pain and suffering for our sake. Or, as a Christian, you feel overwhelming love and gratitude.
Satan and the Child
While Jesus is being mercilessly beaten almost to death, he looks up to find Satan standing in the courtyard holding what appears to be a little baby. But as the devil's hand drops, the covered figure turns and reveals a hideous, ancient face beholding the savior with great glee. This image has, to my knowledge, prompted the greatest stir. No one knows quite what to think of it and in some respects I believe it's left up to individual interpretation, but here are the top theories:
Madonna and the Child
The first thought that enters our mind after seeing this "oddly deranged mother and child" image is a mockery of Madonna and the Christ. Satan can appear as feminine or masculine, whichever he chooses... and at that moment he is distinctly feminine, bearing what appears to be a child in his arms. From day one he knew Jesus would be trouble, therefore he set out to undermine or corrupt Him in any way possible. When that failed, Lucifer instead chose to pursue his death. Appearing at a moment when Jesus is nearly on the brink of death from being mercilessly flogged, bearing what first appears to be a child but is revealed to be a demon in manipulated form, is an obvious mockery of what faith symbolizes... a virgin and her child. But the "virgin" in these case turns out to be the Father of All Evil, and the "son of God" image a hideous little monster.
The Sin of Mankind
Brooke believes the sickly child represents mankind (or Adam's seed, however you want to view it). Just as Jesus was nearly collapsing from the scourging, Satan made his timely appearance to remind Him that "they [humankind] are mine, and you can't have them." It's yet another symbolism of a facade... at first appearance we look harmless and worth saving, but beneath is a thriving, selfish little monster. Mankind, since the Fall, has been corrupted from infancy. We are born in sin and continue to live in it unless we accept the blood of Christ. Satan meant to do it as a way of asking, "Do you really want to save this? Are these wretched creatures worth it?" but only managed to make Jesus all the more determined. The smile of the "demon-child" is also symbolic... emphasizing that in our evil, humans too would smile and mock. After seeing that, Jesus' resolve only seemed stronger. He found the strength to stand up and refuse to let Satan take away what was rightfully His.
Distortion of Reality
What is the normal emotion we feel when seeing a woman and child? There is nothing more innocent than a child. This is what makes the revelation of the leering face so terrible... because it's grotesque. You have an old, wrinkled face on a child's body. I think it was meant to show that what God creates, Satan distorts or attempts to destroy. Satan has no powers to create. Only God can breathe life into a still being. Everything of evil was originated by God for a good purpose, and manipulated later through demonic forces. Demons are nothing but fallen angels. Satan holds a demon in his arms as a mockery of his ability to deceive, to give the appearance of good but reveal the glaring evil beneath. At first he allows this illusion to produce the desired effect -- if the crowd were able to see him, the would think it merely a mother and her baby. But it's merely a facade, a shadowy pretense of goodness... beneath lies corruption and filth. This is to show us how truly deceptive and wretched evil truly is, to gloat at such a moment. 
Christ Forsaken
Satan probably knew that sometime during the crucifixion Jesus would be separated from his holy Father for carrying the curse of our sin. Satan holding the baby (in an almost caressing embrace) is like saying, "I take care of my own, but look -- your Father is forsaking you, His only Son!" It's yet another mockery.
Mary and the Blood
I am not a Catholic but nevertheless believe that Mary was gifted. Mothers have natural instincts about their children so many of the events some Christians would scream are too "pro-Catholic" did not offend me in the least. The first is when Mary awakens in the night after Jesus is arrested, instinctively knowing something "has happened." This isn't unheard of -- many parents have experienced the same thing when a child was harmed or in danger. It's the connection of life. The more obscure revelations involve the bloodied courtyard, Jesus' room of imprisonment beneath the Temple, and Mary's ability to see Satan in the crowd. None of these are overtly Catholic but can be accepted widely as very real possibility. The first instance isn't worth dwelling on -- Mary awakening in the night shortly before John bursts in to tell them what has happened.
The second is Mary's ability to see Satan in the crowd while no others can. You might mistake this as rising her to the form of a mild deity since Jesus can also see Satan, but it has a completely logical explanation. Satan isn't afraid of being seen. He likes it. It's perfectly natural he would reveal himself to the mother of Christ, merely for the sake of tormenting her. Put yourself in her shoes for a minute. How would you feel if you knew your son, the Chosen one, the living representation of God, was arrested and treated brutally, and you could literally SEE someone who gave you the ultimate creeps ENJOYING your son's torment? You would have a blend of mixed feelings... the desire to pound him to a pulp, abstract horror and fear, and disbelief. What better way to torment Jesus' mother than give her this unique ability? Yet it seems to disturb Satan... he only allows her to see him on rare occasions and never for prolonged amounts of time. He rapidly vanishes again! I suppose because Mary knows the truth, and that's disconcerting for him.
When Jesus is flogged almost to death, Mary Magdalene is unable to watch and joins Mary in the courtyard outside. This is where an unusual thing happens... Claudia, Pilate's wife, has observed and comes to them bearing a gift... of pure snowy white linen. I'm still not completely sure what this represents. Claudia was obviously on their side; she prompted her husband to let Jesus go. At first I thought the linens were burial clothes, but this was premature since Pilate hadn't condemned him to death. Then I thought they were bandages -- which is entirely probable. But Mary puts them instead to a very strange use... after Jesus is dragged out in a pool of His own blood, she takes the linen and starts wiping His blood off the pavement.
This could have several meanings. First, it's possible this was tradition -- that the Jews would wipe up the blood of loved ones in order for Roman tiles not to be marked with their presence. Jews hated Romans, and vice versa (which is why the soldiers were so hard on Jesus). Claudia might have known that and shown her homage to Jesus by offering such good linen. Another possibility is that Mary couldn't bear just to leave it there. OR she wanted to collect as much of Christ's blood as possible, in order to preserve Him. 
Mary knew her Son was the Messiah promised for hundreds of years, but He was also her child. Mary knew the impact He would make on the world and what He was born to do. His blood was precious to her, ultimately precious. With the shedding of that blood the world would be saved. She just couldn't leave it on the stones of a Roman courtyard.
Jesus' blood was divine and Mary refused to allow sinful people to trod in it and track it out into the streets.
Satan's Reaction
This scene has prompted much debate. Up until this point, Satan was always wholly composed to the part of being lethargic. He was silent figure, an ominous presence... but Satan is not always silent. He is violent and profane and cruel and vicious, everything that is evil. He thought to have triumphed and was giving a hellish laugh of pleasure. Some viewers suggest that Satan is on the hillside where Jesus was crucified, laughing in glee. However... 
April believes the devil is in hell. "One of my favorite shots, although ultimately spine tingling, is of Satan screaming at the end. Simply because it shows just why Christ had to go through what he did. He had a mission to conquer death and take away the keys of hell. It is a great scene I think. Because the film dwells upon the crucifixion it needs that shot to show the purpose of it. Combined with the shot of the temple breaking in two one is touched by Christ's sacrifice, he gave his life for us and paved the way to Heaven."
In defeating death, Jesus took away the keys of hell from Satan. The devil's ultimate triumph in the Garden of Eden was taking away our immortality. Our soul cannot be stolen but our mortal life can. Mankind was immortal in the beginning because they were without sin and made in the image of God. Therefore really the only thing Lucifer could "lord over" would be Death. But he was denied even this, for no grave could keep in the Savior. It's a sound theory!
Interesting things to watch for
+ Lots of maggots used as symbolism.
+ Demons make repeat appearances as children, in mockery of Mankind and Innocence.
+ Jesus' eyes -- they change color and texture slightly and have an otherworldly glow.
+ Anyone evil and/or under demonic possession has pointed teeth: Satan, all the demons (including the children, and the "face" seen in the garden by Judas), the guards beating Jesus, and the blasphemous thief on the cross.
+ Mary is never completely overcome. She cries but never falls into hysterics. This is because she knows -- and accepts -- that this is why Jesus came to earth.
+ The solitary raindrop that fell after Jesus' death prompted a mighty earthquake, just as Jesus (one person) was the one drop of purity that sanctified the world of its sins.
James believes it's not a "raindrop," but "a single teardrop falling from heaven to signify the Father's heart breaking."

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