This Sunday over 40 million people will watch the Academy Awards, live from Los Angeles.
The predictions indicate that “12 Years a Slave” should win as Best Picture.
I don’t know about this one, but my favorite movie of all times won 11 Oscars: Ben-Hur.
It was released in 1959, before I was born, but I only watched it some 15 years later, and it stayed in my memory for a long time, until I got a tape in the library and watched it again a few years ago. I still think it is great.
Charlton Heston did a great job and won the best actor award playing Ben-Hur (I was going to say the movie is so old that actors were allowed to be Republicans, but I found out that actually Charlton Heston was a Democrat at that time, and he only became a Republican in the early 1970’s).
Being a race fan, obviously the 9 minute chariot race is engraved in my memory, but there is another scene that I recall in detail:
At some point in the movie Ben-Hur is chained with other prisoners, being forced to walk under a scorching desert sun until he falls from exhaustion. A man comes to offer him some water, and the film makes it obvious that this man is Jesus. From a distance the Roman centurion sees the man kneeling as he helps the prisoner and tells him to stop. Jesus stands up and looks at the centurion, who is approaching him decisively. Suddenly, as their eyes meet, the centurion freezes. He stops, turns around and walks the other way.
He saw something powerful in Jesus’ eyes. I know it is just a movie, but I am still intrigued by that interaction. I can only imagine how awesome that experience will be when I meet Him.
But now I remember another movie: The Passion of the Christ, which depicts another opportunity when someone’s eyes met Jesus’ eyes.
This was when Jesus had been arrested and was taken before the Sanhedrin. Peter is observing from a distance, as Jesus is being falsely accused. Three times someone recognizes Peter as one of the followers of Jesus, but he denies it vehemently. After the third time a rooster crows, and Peter remembers what Jesus had told him.
In Luke 22:61 it says: ” The Lord turned around and looked straight at Peter”. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine how Peter felt?
What if when we do something the displeases our Lord we could see Him turning around and looking straight at us? Doesn’t it give you cold chills?
Think about it before the next time you deny His lordship in your life.