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Risen is a historical drama that tells the story of a fictitious centurion Clavius, a Centurion commissioned by Pontius Pilate to investigate the missing body of Jesus after his mysterious disappearance. Clavius’ goal is an important one and his success with either make or break the uprising in Jerusalem. If he cannot find a body soon, he will be in serious trouble and all of Jerusalem could potentially get caught up in a whirlwind uprising.
This film was directed by Kevin Reynolds and was written by him, Paul Aiello and Karen Janszen. Risen stars Joseph Fiennes as Clavius, Tom Felton as Lucius, Peter Firth as Pontius and Cliff Curtis as Jesus. It was released in 2016 by Affirm Films and is considered to be an unofficial sequel to The Passion of the Christ (2004).
As we can read in scripture, after His 3-year ministry, Jesus Christ was arrested and brought on trial for treason and blasphemy. After He was discovered to have claimed He was the messiah, He was found guilty and sentenced to death on the cross. So, Jesus was hung on a cross, crucified, and tormented for his claims. People laughed and made fun of Him, even putting a sign above His head labeling Him as the King of the Jews. Once He was dead, He was lowered down and buried in a tomb. This tomb was then sealed and Roman guards were posted around it so there would be no opportunity for the disciples to sneak in and pull Him out of the grave.
Jesus’ death was an important one and had been surrounded with much controversy. They needed to show that He was nothing more than a man, and making sure that He stayed dead was absolutely vital. This was a show of power for the Romans and those who disagreed with His teaching. So guards were posted around His tomb and it was made secure. No one would be able to steal the body and then claim that He had risen from the dead.
However, as we know, three days later, Jesus did rise from the grave, much to the astonish of the guards, the two Marys that went to visit Him and the entire world. This angered the Romans and most likely Pilate, as depicted here in Risen. They figured that there was no way that Jesus was really who He said He was. So the only logical explanation, then, was that the disciples had found a way to sneak Him out of the tomb, therefore starting an uprising of people who all believed that Jesus truly had risen from the grave.
This is the setup for the movie Risen. The film follows Roman Centurion Clavius as he investigates the scene and tries to figure out how the disciples could have smuggled Jesus out. As seen in the film, Clavius is not an innocent man. He is a soldier, a Roman, leader of a hundred men and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the information out of anyone. Clavius begins his investigation by interrogating the disciples that best knew Jesus and comes to find that they believe Him to be risen.
When the search first begins, the Romans feel confident, knowing that they have finally killed off the man that had become an incredible hindrance to everything they were trying to do. In their mind, they had successfully killed the rebel leader, and because of this, what remained of these disciples was in shambles. They had hoped to finish them off at this time, ending this new uprising before it truly ever even got started. However, as the days went on and still no body was found, they began to face a large-scale threat. They had to find the body of Jesus, or it could mean the potential Messiah was in their midst.
So Clavius continues his search, raiding all of Jerusalem looking for any dead bodies that could potentially be Jesus. He has one oversight in his investigation, however, as he neglects one possibility – the fact that Jesus might truly be what He says He is. And that He may actually be alive again! In Risen, we see Clavius as he comes face to face with things he can’t explain and things that can’t possibly fit into his world or understanding of the way it works. Clavius can only express his frustration and confusion as he says in the film, “I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
As Clavius investigates, his journey takes him on a much more remarkable and supernatural path than he had anticipated. This was no ordinary open-and-shut robbery, he eventually comes to understand. He realizes that there are powers at work. But this begs a new question for Clavius, what to do now?
We often see all of these events played out from the disciples’ point of view. Many stories, books, and films, give people the sense of what was going on in the lives of the disciples for these three days. The heartbreak they experienced and the deep depression they fell into as they began to believe that Jesus was all a hoax and that he was truly dead forever. Until He was resurrected and came back to visit them. This is a common story that we’ve seen before, but the concept of what was going on for the Romans during this time is truly unique. Risen is a unique film in that it flips the script, showing the complete opposite side of what was happening during the events of Jesus’ resurrection. The Romans were experiencing many different emotions during this time as well, both victory as they felt they had accomplished their goals and confusion and turmoil as they began to wonder if maybe they hadn’t truly killed Jesus.
Risen is a thrilling and enjoyable Christian DVD much in the style of other biblical films like Passion of the Christ. Experience the intrigue and mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jesus Christ, and find a new take on the story of Jesus’ resurrection. You are sure to see things through new eyes as you experience this fresh perspective on a classic true story.
Risen is a historical drama that tells the story of a fictitious centurion Clavius, a Centurion commissioned by Pontius Pilate to investigate the missing body of Jesus after his mysterious disappearance.