Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Nathan and I want to share with you that we were able to attend a private screening of the new Mel Gibson film titled "The Passion Of Christ" this past Monday night. We unexpectedly got on the list to go and view it at First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN. Neither of us were really prepared for what we viewed. It's really hard to find the words to tell you how life-changing this film was for both of us.
Most of the crowd was the Country Music industry artists, radio and press personnel. Ricky Scaggs hosted the event.
This movie changed our lives forever. The room was full of the sound of weeping and loud sobbing, including our own. I told Nathan on the way home that I only wish that I would have seen it as a young teen.
It is so fitting that the whole movie begins with a black screen with the text of Isaiah 53:5, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities , the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed".
The room was silent as the movie ended and even as Mel walked down the aisle of the chapel people remained completely stunned by the film. After he was formally introduced, everyone stood and applauded him loudly. He so graciously answered each question, and was very candid with us. It was very apparent . . . that he has a deep relationship with God, he believes that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he's coming back to get his people.
Mel and his small band of believers around him are asking the church to take on a "grass roots" approach to this film. They are asking us to tell everyone we know about it... They are wanting artists to show the DVD trailer at concerts, to do pre-sales on tickets through churches and FOR EVERYONE TO GO SEE IT OPENING WEEK. It really does matter that you go the first two weeks of opening which is FEB.25TH. It is so important! THIS MOVIE IS LIFE-CHANGING, AND I PROMISE YOU IT IS ANOINTED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. THIS MOVIE WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I fell in love with Jesus on Monday night. Either for the first time, or all over again. It is so amazing that the same King who endured that cross and was broken for me, lives inside of me! I am in Him and He is in me.
Please pray for Mel Gibson. Pray for protection for him and his family. Pray that God would pour back on him 100 fold what he spent on this movie so that MORE MOVIES LIKE THIS CAN BE MADE. He spoke about the major warfare that has been going on over this movie. He also told us about several miracles and conversions that happened throughout the making of this film. (Lisa tells about these in her e-mail below.) -- Christy and Nathan Nockels
Here's the second letter included in the mail:
Last night I attended a private screening of Mel Gibson's movie at Ricky Skaggs' church in Hendersonville. There were about 200 people in attendance.
I am speechless, moved beyond words and sobered by what I saw last night.
The movie was in a rough cut version...but still I thought a very finished state. Special effects had not been added yet, nor was the music complete. Still it brought uncontrollable weeping from everyone. I couldn't stop crying through the whole movie. And when the movie was over, there was complete silence in the church.. I wanted the story to go on and on...for another two hours. I think the movie was about two hours long. Every moment of the movie was captivating, breathtaking.
The beating and suffering of Christ was almost unbearable to watch. The scenes with flashbacks of Jesus when he was a little boy and a scene of his mother running to comfort him and then cradling him in her arms after he had fallen down about the age of 4 or 5 was interlaced with scenes of him falling to the ground carrying his own cross, so bloody and unrecognizable...and then her holding him in her arms after he had been taken down from the cross. Her face then stared into the camera while she was holding him...and you could just imagine the things she was thinking. Every parent who was seated near me fell apart.
The nails being hammered into his hands was the most real thing I had ever seen. One scene of Jesus and the interaction with his mother just reminded me of every 20-year old man/child and mom relationship. Where she's trying to get him to come to eat...and has to remind him to wash his hands before eating. She brings water to wash his hands, and after washing, he gently splashes water on his mother but then wraps his arms around her and kisses her on the cheek--and takes off running to the food.
There was a question and answer period last night with Mel himself. I asked about the miracles we had heard about on the set. He began to talk about so many I couldn't keep track. One of the actors was hit by lightning twice yet walked away from it with only smoking fingertips. Healings, conversions on the set. I especially remember him talking about a two-year old child's hearing and sight being restored. And he said, "You know you can't fake that when you're two."
He was asked about spiritual warfare on the set, and he said, "Oh yeah! Just being in Italy alone was enough warfare." He said it was intense.
Mel said that the reason for having these small private screenings is to get the word out and to start a grass roots campaign to support the movie.
Ricky Skaggs asked how we can pray for Mel, help him, spread the word, etc. He said that "prayer was the most powerful thing. And not to pray for all our enemies to have warts grow on their faces, (laughter), but to pray for our warring angels to fight against Satan's angels, because the people don't know any better, they are clueless...and they are just being used by Satan."
It was mentioned to everyone who had a website...to get on a mailing list and sign up. That they would be sending links, so that everyone could put it on their websites. Here's the official website.
You can go to this website and register to find out more on how to help. This other site will just give you more info on press stuff and more on the miracles that happened.
"The Passion of Christ" comes out February 25, 2004, Ash Wednesday, in theaters nationwide. Mel spent 35 million of his own money to make this movie.
Mel is a man of the Word! He knows the Bible and is a sold-out believer. He said that this movie has been his passion for the past 12 years. Just three years ago the Lord began to give him signs that now was the time to start filming.
I know that I am changed, and I pray that what I saw will be etched on my brain forever. Lord, help me to never forget the price you paid for us all. -- Lisa B.