Title: The Last Temptation of Christ
Director: Martin Scorsese
Release: August 1988, USA
Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus (Campus Crusades for Christ), The Passion of The Christ and another movies of Jesus of the Bible assumed in the same way: they were told the story about Jesus as Messiah. The focus on these movies was the miracles and salvation He brings to the world. Christians worship and adore Him as God, but sometimes forget that He was fully a man, too, when He lives in this planet. That was the movie attempt to show: the both-side personality of Jesus as God and man.
To make the story acceptable, the movie makers don't use the Bible as the main source in its screenplay. The manly of Jesus that shows on this movie have became a controversial talking. But, in the opening credit, said that it was written by fictional exploration of Jesus' life. So, it would be better to see the movie based on that view.
William Dafoe, plays as Jesus, looks great in his performance. Then, I think, the other character that has a big significance in this movie was Judas (Harveoy Keitel). In the Bible there is nothing special mentioned in relationship between Jesus and Judas, like that told in this movie: Judas is so close with Jesus; even He not starts His ministries yet.
While I'm seeing the movie, it makes my mind sounded some questions. The most hard-answered question is this: Why Jesus told Judas that his "duty" (that is, betray and over Him to crucify by taking some money) is a harder job than die on the cross to forgive human sins – that was Jesus does? That shows in this movie, Judas was commanded directly by Jesus to do the "duty". He looks so sad when he accepted the "duty". He loves Jesus. Maybe, the answer is this: the salvation must be comes through the death, so the one who makes the death happens, he has done his "duty". The "duty" must be doing, even Judas doesn't like it at all to do. But, I'm not sure this was the right answer.
The screenwriter (Paul Schrader) of the movie is brilliant. He challenges us to think about men usually need in life: woman and kids... a family… a common happiness. What if Jesus decides not to obey what God has commanded Him to do? Then he makes an imagination that Jesus gets married and has some children. It comes when Jesus almost finished His salvation on the cross. Based on the Bible, the last temptation was not the imagination. Gethsemane, that was the place He found the last temptation: to do God's will or not.
This movie looks like to challenge our reflection. What kind of self-will-obsessions conflicts in a person who has the-both personalities? Roger Ebert, the famous movie-reviewer write, "I cannot think of another film on a religious subject that has challenged me more fully. The film has offended those whose ideas about God and man it does not reflect. But then, so did Jesus." Perhaps, when Jesus decides not to die on the cross, Christianity knows the consequences: neither salvation, nor eternal life after death people will find.
Sidik Nugroho, 2006