Today, there are many films about the life of Jesus Christ, however, back in 1949 when this article was published in Progress, the monthly magazine of Romford Congregational Church, Jesus' life had yet to appear on film. Mr T.J. Dove questions whether it is right to produce such films.
Two or three weeks ago when I read in one of the papers that the suggestion was under consideration of filming the life of Christ, I had mixed feelings.
I suppose most of us have, at some time, been under the impression that to put anything on the stage or screen of a religious nature was, to say the least, a bit dangerous as there was the possibility of it upsetting folks who regarded anything of that nature as bordering on blasphemy.
There must have been something like this at the back of my mind but then on reflection I thought there were great possibilities if dealt with in the right way, and how it could bring to the masses the message they would not otherwise hear.
In my mind's eye I could visualise the rapt attention with which He held the multitudes on the mountain sides, the look of the faces of the Pharisees when He preached in the Temple, the amazement as He healed the sick, particularly the look of gratitude of those cured. What a lovely episode when the blind man was made to see and gave that so human answer to the critics "This I know, whereas I was blind, now I can see" - with what must have been an "and that's that" attitude.
Then again the procession on Palm Sunday with the cheering crowds and perhaps there could be something shown which would make us understand why, in a week, the feeling of the multitude changed as they demanded Barabbas, if it was the same crowd!
The trial scene could be of real educational value as shewing the system of justice and government in force in the Roman Empire and no doubt there will be differences of opinion as to whether Pontius Pilate was forced into the position he found himself or adopted it as the easiest line when he found the risk of rising.
Yes, I think it would be a fine thing to film Christ's life if done in the right way. It ought to prove one of the finest pieces of missionary work or evangelism so far accomplished. Look at the millions who could see it.
But how careful the director and producers would have to be.
It would be terrible if the part of Christ was taken by some actor who, brilliant though he might be in his profession, had a past that was not in keeping.
The ideal, of course, would be for the cast to be anonymous, who would give their services for Christianity.
What do you think?