Resurrection: Common People with Uncommon Stories

Resurrection is a powerful film about Jesus’ resurrection. Based on the book Resurrection Morning by minister and author Max Lucado, the movie poses a question to viewers: were there any commoners nearby when Jesus rose from the dead?

Jesus’ mourners placed his body in a cave blocked by a giant rock. The Bible implies that no one else was around when Jesus was buried. However, you would think that the Roman Empire, knowing how mysterious yet powerful Jesus was, might have stationed guards to protect the body. Jesus had a group of disciples, too, who might have worried the Romans as well.

To play devil’s advocate, let’s say that there were guards surrounding Jesus’ cave tomb. They certainly would not be surrounding any luxury rehabs. Once Jesus was resurrected, what exactly did the guards see? That is the question at the center of Resurrection. The film focuses less on the disciples and apostles surrounding Jesus and more on Claudius, a common Roman soldier whose life changes the night he sees Jesus come back from the dead. “I want the truth,” Claudius tells his Roman superior.

Claudius is willing to sacrifice everything he knows, including his friendship with another Roman soldier, in order to understand what he saw that night. The focus on Claudius is somewhat reminiscent of the story of the apostle St. Paul, who began life as an anti-Christian Roman tax collector named Saul.

While traveling to Damascus, Saul saw a light and a heard a voice that revealed itself to be Jesus. Saul became blinded after this revelation, but one of Jesus’ disciples, Ananias of Damascus, restored Saul’s sight. Saul began to teach the religion he once persecuted others for practicing and joined Jesus’ other disciples. He did not spend any time at luxury rehabs in his story. His writings about religion are still famous to this day.

Claudius and Paul share the trait of being common men affected by Jesus. It shows that even early, Jesus’ words and actions impacted many in the world, not just the people in his inner circle. It raises the question of how many still receive Jesus’ message in the modern world.

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study, there are many Christians in the world now and the number should remain high. The study estimates that there were 2.1 billion Christians in the world in 2010 and projects that there will be about 2.9 billion in 2050. There are more Christians in the world than any other religion. The study also predicts that other religions will increase in popularity. For example, the number of Muslims may rise dramatically because populations in traditionally Muslim areas are also on the rise.

Examining these trends and predictions might be a good way to determine if Christianity still touches any commoners outside of those who started their lives out as Christians in the first place. We can use such studies to determine whether Christ still impacts communities worldwide. And if He doesn’t, what can be done to attract more people to the faith? These questions might require further exploration.

About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.