How Much Blood?

Violence and suffering in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

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The scenes are there in the Gospels: nearly one-third of each is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life. The words are there in the Apostles’ Creed: “He suffered under Pontius Pilate.” The theme is there in the songs of the church: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins…”

Blood and suffering are infused in the origins of the Christian religion, and Mel Gibson doesn’t shy away from it in his movie about Jesus. The violence in The Passion of the Christ has many moviegoers asking: Does the movie have to be so bloody? Is it good to dwell so much on Christ’s suffering? Will seeing the violence Christ endured move us to a more meaningful faith?

Table of Contents

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12; Leviticus 16:5–11; John 1:29, 36; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:24; Philippians 3:10–11; Hebrews 2:17–18, 9:16–28; 1 Peter 2:21


    • Identify the Current Issue

    • Discover the Eternal Principles

Teaching point one: Bloody sacrifice is part of biblical religion.
Teaching point two: The New Testament clearly identifies Jesus as the Passover Lamb.
Teaching point three: Christians share an affinity with Jesus’ sufferings.
    • Apply Your Findings

    • Recommended Resources


    • The Fountain Fill'd with Blood, by Chris Armstrong (March 2004, 12 printed pages)

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