Jesus Christ is the main protagonist in the 2004 Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ, which depicts the last 12 hours of Christ's life prior to the crucifixion. The movie is based on a now discredited and renounced play created by the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages to shift blame from their ancestors the Romans to the Jewish people and insight people against the Jews. The play is still re-enacted largely out of tradition sake by Catholic congregations despite the fact that the Vatican has officially admitted it is a work of fiction.
As the movie begins, Christ finds himself tormented in the Garden of Gethsemane not only by Satan, but also by the knowledge that he will soon be arrested and delivered into the hands of the authorities. Christ steadfastly ignores Satan as the latter tries to talk him into escaping his fate.
Soon a crowd of people arrived to arrest Christ, led by his disciple Judas Iscariot. One of his disciples tried to prevent the arrest by slicing off the ear of a servant, Christ healed the young man, who knelt in the garden as Christ was led away. As Christ was being led to met with the priests the soldiers began to beat him.
Over the next 12 hours Christ was subjected to a horrific amount of torture and other abuse. After determining that they could not take care of the matter themselves the high priests first sent Christ to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. Pilate demanded to know why the priests had beaten Christ so badly before sending him on to Herod. Herod however decided that this was really a Roman matter and sent Christ back to Pilate.
Pilate questioned Christ at length, asking if he was the King of the Jews. Christ responded that's what was being said of him, and that he had been born into the world to spread the truth. Pilate was troubled by this, and asked his wife if she would know the truth if it was spoken. Pilate worried over the reaction his handling of this young man would provoke given his delicate relationship with Tiberius Caesar.
Pilate had Christ scourged. The Romans were so brutal in the torture that they inflicted on Christ that Pilate himself intervened to keep them from killing Christ. One centurion in particular was quite brutal towards Christ. Pilate tried to talk the high priests out of executing Christ, but at last washed his hands of the matter and condemned Christ to death.
Christ was led away from Pilate's fortress towards Calvary. The Roman soldiers continued to heap much abuse on him. When Christ was physically incapable of proceeding further, the Romans pressed a man named Simon of Cyrene into helping Christ carry the cross towards Calvary. Simon protested the abuse that the Romans continued to inflict upon Christ.
During this time Christ had flashbacks to earlier experiences in his life. This included building a new type of table that his mother Mary said would never catch on with the people. He also had flashbacks to the last supper with his disciples.
Finally the procession reached Calvary, and Christ was nailed to the cross. After some minutes of agony, Christ finally died from his injuries. At that moment Satan was cast back into hell, screaming in defeat.
Three days later the rock that had been placed over Christ's resting place slid back. As the burial cloths began collapsing, Christ stood and watched for a few minutes. Except for the holes punctured in him at the crucifixion, Christ was completely healed of all the injuries that had been inflicted on him during the last 12 hours of his life.
- This version of Jesus Christ was played by Jim Caviezel. During one of the whipping scenes the whips missed the steel plate that had been put on Caviezel's back and left a 13-inch gash on his back. Caviezel was also struck by lightening and suffered hypothermia while portraying Christ. Because of the fame he garnered Caviezel was rejected for the role of Superman in the 2006 film Superman Returns.
- The movie was well received my its intended audience but Jewish patrons despised it, as it was used reinforce a made-up story designed to validate near two millennia of antisemitism. The movie largely turned director Mel Gibson into a Hollywood pariah.