by Andrew Lansdown
Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ opens with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is here, the historical records agree, that Jesus suffered unspeakable anguish as He contemplated His imminent death.
In Mel’s version of events, Satan comes to taunt and test Jesus in the garden. Like many other scenes in the film, this scene has no historical basis. Such a thing could perhaps have happened, but the eyewitnesses make no mention of it. (From this scene onwards, viewers should be alert to the fact that they are watching not an historian’s account of the Passion, but a filmmaker’s account. While much of the film “is as it was”, much of it is as Mel imagines.)