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Tag Archives: The Passion of the Christ

The Sound of Freedom

It’s not often that one and only one cable news channel covers a world-wide epidemic. While the initial headlines of another major child sex trafficking ring is touched upon by all networks, this story disappears overnight. Replaced by stories of high-profile trials, protests, violence, and war, according to the upcoming film the Sound of Freedom, two million children across the globe remain enslaved by this booming industry.

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air], James 4:13-14.

During a recent interview with Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in the Passion of the Christ, many in Hollywood don’t want his latest film project to be released. Every time the Sound of Freedom has gotten close to final production, film companies like Disney backed out at the last second. Is this due to political pressure or fear that this film must actually expose what’s really going on to countless children in the United States?

You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. 16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. 17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:15-17.

Currently, Jim is working with other Christiam film makers, including the group behind the popular series the Chosen. Jim’s goal is to pre-order 2 million tickets for the Sound of Freedom so that cinemas across the country will open their doors for this passion project this summer. Caviezel’s vision is for the total viewers in theaters will match or succeed the number of children enslaved by the sex trafficking industry. Please pray for the Sound of Freedom so that this project becomes a reality.

by Jay Mankus


From the Passion of the Christ to Apologists for Criminals

In the years following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, a large portion of the United States turned to God for answers. Church attendance hit records highs the Sunday after 9/11 and films like the Passion of the Christ sparked a mini revival in 2004. A generation of Christians were motivated to emulate the faith and life of Jesus. Unfortunately, sometime in the past 20 years our culture has turned away from truth and justice to cuddle and embrace repeat criminals.

Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, the one of His disciples who was about to betray Him, said, Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii [a year’s wages for an ordinary workman] and that [money] given to the poor (the destitute)? – John 12:3-5

Billionaire George Soros recently vowed to continue to financially support district attorneys who are soft on crime. Despite recent spikes in crimes and murders national wide, Soros said,“I have no intention of stopping my support for them” according to an article in the New York Post. While Soros has good intentions of not wanting to imprison African Americans, his passion as an apologist for criminals has made Soros near sighted of all the innocent victims of repeat offenders.

Now he did not say this because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief; and having the bag (the money box, the purse of the Twelve), he took for himself what was put into it [pilfering the collections]. But Jesus said, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she should keep it for the time of My preparation for burial. [She has kept it that she might have it for the time of My [a]embalming, ] John 12:6-7.

One of the first stories John recounts during Passion Week, Jesus’ last week on earth, is a conflict between Judas Iscariot and a prostitute trying to anoint Jesus. This side of Judas reveals his motive for selling out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. While prostitution is still a crime, Judas’ attitude and behavior is what Jesus focuses on. May the Passion of the Christ wear off on DA’s so that justice and order is restored.

by Jay Mankus

A Message of Hope Forgotten with Time

Its not very often that the same generation is able to witness three of the greatest miracles of all time.  First century residents living along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea were fortunate eyewitnesses to these miraculous events.  A few months prior to the census in the days of Caesar Augustus, a priest reflects upon his encounter with an angel.  The only problem is that Zacharias becomes mute due to his initial doubts.  Thus, Zacharias is forced to participate in the very first game of Charades to explain what happened behind closed doors while in the temple.  At his son John’s circumcision, Zacharias regains his ability to speak.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Zacharias begins to prophesize about the hope that Israel and the world will soon experience.

And Mary said,“My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has looked [with loving care] on the humble state of His maidservant;
For behold, from now on all generations will count me blessed and happy and favored by God! – Luke 1:46-48

Zacharias’ wife Elizabeth is the first to be made aware of the conception of God’s son.  The moment Mary visit Elizabeth during the final three months of her pregnancy, the sound of Mary’s voice caused John to leap in her womb.  Immediately following this, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirt as she begins to prophecize about Mary’s virgin birth.  Although engaged to be married to Joseph, the Holy Spirit supernaturally used one sperm from God the Father to conceive, enabling Mary to be pregnant without any physical or sexual contact.  The news of this reality overwhelms Mary, inspiring what the Bible calls Mary’s song.  The beginning of this song is highlighted above as Mary praises God for this special anointing and blessing.

Now Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered by Him, and he prophesied, saying,“Blessed (praised, glorified) be the Lord, the God of Israel, Because He has visited us and brought redemption to His people, Luke 1:67-68.

Thirty three years later, Mary watched helplessly as her son Jesus was sentenced to death on a cross.  Although the Passion of the Christ depicts Mary watching Jesus being flogged thirty nine times, its unclear whether Mary was present for each of these violent lashings.  Mary watched Jesus be nailed to a cross, suffer and die hours later.  The only thing comparable today is a parent enduring the anguish of a child battling terminal cancer.  A few days later, the funeral is cancelled when an angel conveys that Jesus was raised from the dead.  According to Luke and the other gospel authors, Jesus appeared to several hundred eyewitnesses, walking, talking and revealing his scars to doubters.  While atheists, progressives and skeptics continue to plant doubt in the minds of modern day people of faith, these events are non-fiction.  Therefore, if you are in desperate need of good news, this blog is a message of hope forgotten by time.

by Jay Mankus

Christmas for Dummies

Every year pastors, preachers and teachers are expected to come up with a fresh and new perspective of Christmas for their congregations.  On some occasions this goal is achieved.  Yet, many sermons crash and burn, wasting weeks of preparation making the simple complex.  In reality, Christmas is the mass of Christ, a day of remembrance, thanksgiving and worship.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost,” Luke 19:10. 

In a summary of a conversation with a tax collector, Jesus provides a Christmas for Dummies answer.  The context of the passage above refers to the fall of mankind, also known as original sin.  God gave Adam and Eve just one rule in the Garden of Eden, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,” Genesis 3:2.  When lust entered into Eve’s heart, she influenced her husband Adam to ignore God’s law, taking and eating fruit.  This act of disobedience enabled sin to enter the world, resulted in expulsion from the garden, severed an intimate relationship with God and gave Satan authority and dominion over the earth.  Jesus’ birth came to seek and save what was lost back here.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel,” Genesis 3:15.

During an exchange with one of his fallen angels, God prophecies for the first time about the need to send his one and only son, John 3:16.  If you have seen the Passion of the Christ, this symbolism is played out while Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, stomping on the head of a serpent at the end of his prayer.  While Satan convinces first century religious leaders to execute Jesus’ crucifixion, the resurrection served as a check mate moment, foiling forever any demonic attempts to change the spiritual course of history.  However, this is one catch.

In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2.

God allows the Devil, aka Satan to retain his former angelic powers that he possessed while serving as the archangel Lucifer.  When you add this fact to a confession by one of Jesus’ disciples, Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour-1 Peter 5:8, this threat is real.  This why evil continues to exist on earth.  Therefore, while Jesus has his own birthday on our calendar, the ongoing spiritual war does not stop.  The fight for the eternal destiny of souls is a fierce battle, taking many innocent individuals to their graves.  While singing Christmas carols today in church may inspire or move you, make sure you guard your heart and mind, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, so that the hope of Christmas will not be lost again.

by Jay Mankus



One of the medical websites I researched lists 5 specific categories of trauma.  Complex, Early Childhood, Medical, Refugee and Traumatic Grief.  The actual definition of this term refers to any experience that inflicts deep distress or is emotionally disturbing.  This state is often induced by accidents, injuries or witnessing someone die.  Anyone who endures such an event can be traumatized for hours, days, weeks or months.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you, 1 Peter 5:7.

Anyone alive during the life of Christ may have seen one of the most brutal ways to die.  After receiving up to 39 lashing in the public square, Jesus carried a cross until Simeon took over and then was crucified.  Even those who despised Jesus’ message, must have felt pity or remorse at some point.  Despite his innocence, Herod followed Jewish tradition, setting the criminal Barabbas free as a mob demanded Jesus to die in his place.  If those who have seen this gore in the Passion of the Christ struggle to watch, image the trauma exhibited by those who were disciples and followers of God’s son.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron, Psalm 107:13-16.

One of the difficult signs of trauma is that its often invisible.  Sure, body language, facial expressions and posture reveal someone who is mourning.  Yet, wounds to the soul go unnoticed, lingering for months, years or in worse case scenarios, a lifetime.  In certain cases, guilt causes some to remain traumatized until they forgive themselves.  This situation is played out in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams playing a psychologists tells Matt Damon, an orphan its not your fault.  If you find yourself trying to recover from a traumatic events, may the prayer of the Psalmist above provide the words to receive the healing that you seek and strive to achieve.

by Jay Mankus


Turning Yourself In

As fading PGA stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson pass the torch to Rory Mcilroy and Jordan Spieth, several player careers often go unnoticed.  While human interest stories like Erik Compton, a heart transplant recipient received attention after his second place finish at the 2014 U.S, Open, television coverage typically ignores mediocre players.  Nonetheless, golf is a gentleman’s game, with participants responsible for reporting rules infractions.  Thus, even when the cameras aren’t present, a spirit of integrity prompts many professionals to turn themselves in so to speak.

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight, Proverbs 12:22.

This is where three time winner Scott Stallings takes honesty to a whole new level.  Following a bout with chronic fatigue, sleeping up to 16 hours a day, a doctor reminded a prescription to address this condition.  Unfortunately for Stallings, this drug was on the P.G.A. tour’s banned substance list.  After doing some research, Scott recently realized his lapse in judgment.  Therefore, Stallings acted upon his convictions, notifying the commissioner of his mistake.  The penalty for turning himself in, Stallings received a three month suspension effective immediately.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, Colossians 3:9.

In this moral climate, a sense of entitlement exists as if to say, “its only wrong if you get caught.”  However, for Stallings, at least he will be able to sleep at night, knowing the right thing was done.  The only comparison I think of is reactions following the Passion of the Christ.  In the days preceding the release of the Passion of the Christ, 2004, convicted hearts began to publicly confess sins of the past.  In fact, a few criminals turned themselves in to the authorities.  Perhaps, the honesty of Scott Stallings will inspire others to come forward and make this country a better place to live.

by Jay Mankus





Deception means to con through dishonest means, cheat or trick others or simply commit fraud, a ruse or sham.  Every election season voters are deceived by politicians who say whatever you want to hear only to return to who they really are after being elected.  Therefore, as you watch the first presidential debate tonight, don’t be mislead by their words, test everything they say to make sure it fits with their own voting record.

In the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ, Jesus is almost bitten by a snake while praying in the garden before being betrayed by Judas.  This scene takes place under a tree similar to the picture above, symbolic of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15.  According to 2 Corinthians 11:14, Satan has the power to imitate angelic acts.  Satan’s ultimate goal is a create a false impression of reality, like many of the answers you will hear tonight.

Trust and stupidity are not that far from one another.  Unfortunately, we often blindly trust candidates, believing whatever they say to be true.  Or we rely on family, friends or co-workers to shape who we vote for without doing any homework or research for ourselves.  Thus, don’t turn a blind eye tonight to the words that are spoken, especially from the commentators who will steer you toward their candidate.  Follow the 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 principle so that on election day you will have a clear conscience as you cast your vote.  America’s future is depending upon your due diligence!

by Jay Mankus

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