Risen is the greatest detective story ever told. Political unrest, religious disagreements, torture, multiple motives, unusual suspects, layers of lies, covert operations, betrayal, a crime scene investigation, unreliable witnesses, and implausible implications create quite the unsolved mystery. Only this time they’re not looking for the murderer. Everyone knows who did it. The how, where, and when were public knowledge. They’re looking for the missing body.
Pontius Pilot charges his tribune Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) with preventing an uprising in Jerusalem. The followers of Joshua claim that he will rise again, so the Roman soldiers take several precautions to ensure that his brutally beaten body won’t be stolen from the tomb. We all know how well that goes.
Though a well-trained killer, Clavius possesses two weapons far more dangerous than his sword: his disbelief and hardness of heart. In time, the hunter becomes one of the hunted. The non-believer can’t reconcile that he saw a man who was dead, then he later saw that very same man alive again, talking, eating, and healing the sick. The obvious, tangible presence of the person Clavius had watched expire on the cross completely unnerved him. He was in full armor, but the man before him still managed to pierce his heart.
This film is a form of evangelization and historical fiction that raises some of the big questions about life and death:
To whom do you answer? To whose summons do you respond to immediately? Whose word do you believe? Who determines your call and purpose in life? Can you believe, trust, and remember what you see, hear, experience, touch, taste, and smell? Are you more concerned about what the truth is about or what other people think? How does what you believe reflect on you? How does it become evident through your words and actions?
A genuine encounter with Jesus Christ always transforms people.
Are the events in the film, their sequential order, and the characters in the movie 100% Biblically accurate? No. Do they create a thought-provoking look at what life might have been like at that time while weaving in some facts we do know about the Resurrection? Absolutely!
This is a movie that believers and nonbelievers alike can enjoy. Though once you've experienced it firsthand, there's no going back.
To pre-order your own copy of Risen which is being released May 24, 2016, click here.