There were tears and a standing ovation as about 100 San Quentin inmates viewed a film on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
“I was extremely moved. It’s like I’m at a loss for words,” said Curtis Jefferson, an inmate who viewed the Passion of the Christ movie for the first time.
It was the annual showing of the Academy Award-winning production of the film directed by Mel Gibson.
It’s the film story of courage and sacrifice. It depicts the final 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection on the third day.
Attendance was moderate, but Passion of The Christ was well received.
Chaplain Mardi R. Jackson hosted the April 18 event. Jackson has been with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for more than nine years. She is the first woman Protestant chaplain at San Quentin. She has been with the Garden Chapel nearly three years.
“Hurt and sorrow” were but a few emotions Jackson expressed while watching Passion. “I feel His suffering and gratefulness for His sacrifices,” said Jackson. “The gift of eternal life that because of Him, we now have.”
“When Jesus was on the cross, even after He was crucified, after all that He had been through, He still found forgiveness in His heart,” said inmate Dean Felton, 46. “And He looked up to the heavens and asked His Father, our God, to forgive them, ‘for they know not what they do.’ Wow!”
“How He was treated, no mortal man today
could’ve stood that punishment, and live today”
Passion of the Christ was subtitled, because it was filmed in Aramaic, an ancient language of the people and culture in southwestern Asia. A number of viewers said they found it to be easy reading, and followed the plot without missing any action.
“How He was treated, no mortal man today could’ve stood that punishment, and live today. Meaning: that He died for our sins. I really believe that,” said inmate James H. Horsted, 70. “Passion of the Christ means for me love, mercy, cherish and treat people the way He loved us all.”
Inmate Ron Koehler said, “The movie is incomplete. It doesn’t show the true power of Christ, His power over death. It showed the interruption in Christ, not the perfection.”
The movie screened on Good Friday, the day He was executed, and two days before Easter Sunday, the day scripture reports He rose from the dead.