Jim Caviezel as Jesus in "The Passion of Christ."
Jim Caviezel as Jesus in “The Passion of Christ.”

Ten years ago, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ entered theaters and rocked the world. This year, the movie will be edited for television and shown on Palm Sunday on the UP network. The three-time Oscar®-nominated film will air with limited commercial interruption on April 13th at 9:00 p.m. as part of UP’s two-week celebration of Easter. This will be the first time that the movie has been shown on commercial television.

“UP is proud to present this powerful, groundbreaking cinematic portrayal of Christ’s death and resurrection as the centerpiece of our extensive Easter programming,” said Charley Humbard, president and CEO, UP. “The Passion of the Christ is a story of unconditional love—the love of a Mother for her son and the love of a Son for his Heavenly Father and for all mankind. This film depicts the story that is at the very heart of Christianity. It truly epitomizes our holiday theme: ‘Easter Lives Here!’”

The Passion was written and directed by Gibson and starred Jim Caviezel (Jesus) and Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene). In 2004 it took in $612 million at the worldwide box office, becoming the highest grossing independent film of all time and it remains the highest-grossing religious film in history. Considered by Entertainment Weekly as one of the most controversial movies of all time, the movie proved to the world that people are open to the idea of faith-based movies. The indie film inspired movie directors to create new stories including this year’s Son of God, Noah and Exodus.

For those who have never seen the movie, it deals with the last 12 hours of Jesus’ life beginning in the Garden of Olives where Jesus went to pray after the Last Supper. Unique in that every line is spoken entirely in reconstructed Aramaic and Latin with subtitles, The Passion of Christ is a somber movie and very violent. Some parents will want to show the movie to their children, but if you do, make sure that they are old enough to talk about what they see and it will probably be very disturbing to them and give them nightmares. (There are plenty of other Easter teaching tools you can use to tell the story of Jesus.)

For the rest of us, the film will give you a good idea of the pain Jesus suffered for us.

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