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By Scott Ross
CBN.com The following are excerpts from the interview.
Scott Ross: I've watched people in the theater in front of you, small viewing theater, turning their faces away because they couldn't continue to look.
James Caviezel: You said something very critical there, people turn their eyes away when they see it-and what they're seeing is their own sin. And it is not wanting to deal, at times, with their own sin. It is that hard to look at. But this film forces you to see yourself, not the way you want to see yourself, but the way God sees you. There's no passive onlookers here.
Scott Ross: What part of this had the greatest affect on you? Is that possible, to isolate a moment or time, or not?
Jim Caviezel: Oh! Boy! I'll be honest with you, there are things that I went through that I can't even talk about.
Scott Ross: I'm sure.
Jim Caviezel: Uh, I I felt like a great Presence came within me, at times, when we were filming. And, this prayer that came from me was 'I don't want people to see me, I just want them to see Jesus,' and through that conversions will happen. And that's what I wanted more than anything, that people would have a visceral effect to finally make a decision whether to follow Him or not.
Scott Ross: And that's the only choice, I mean it's either you do or you don't. 'You're for Me or against Me', Jesus said.
Jim Caviezel: Throughout, when people put on Christ, when they go
outside-that's all non-believers see. And you're going to have people that
reject it-and for the most part it's that.
But there are others that make a living at being Christian. And this is this is serious! Because they know the Body of Christ, they know what that is, for them it's even more serious.
And more or less many of the people-many of our Jewish brothers-are terrified. I hear people coming up to me all the time, asking me, 'Y'know 'Jim, they're Jewish and they say, y'know, some of the e-mails-have you read these things? This is frightening. [The e-mails say] 'I didn't kill Christ.' And I said, 'No, the people standing before Christ, uh before Pilate, during the Judgement Seat, does not condemn an entire race for the death of Christ. Any more than the actions of Mussolini condemn all Italians, or the heinous crimes of Stalin condemn all Russians.
We're all culpable in the death of Christ-my sins, your sins put Him on that cross. I bring this up because this is very important to address, because I want my Jewish brothers to see this film, I want people of my own faith-who think it's anti-Semitic-to see this film. And I want non-religious people to see this film. This film does not play the 'blame game' at all.
We're all culpable in the death of Christ.
Caviezel, like all the Jewish characters in the film, speaks in Aramaic. Most audiences will need subtitles to understand the dialog.
But there is one place where subtitles won't be needed. It's a remote village on the island of Cyprus, where 130 elderly Christians still speak Aramaic daily.
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