5 Classic Christian Movies to Watch with Your Family Before Easter

The season of Lent is a time of reflection on Christ’s journey, our personal faith life, and all that is to come.

Though movies and music cannot replace sacred scripture, it can be a fantastic way for many to better understand Christ’s message. 

Here are 5 classic movies (in no particular order) you will want to watch before Easter:

1) “The Passion of the Christ” (2004)

Directed, produced, and written by Mel Gibson, this 2004 film depicts the final 12 hours of the life of Jesus. In an epic and gory portrayal, this movie does not hold back on the brutal death of Our Lord.

We are given a front row seat to the crucifixion. While it’s incredibly hard to watch, encourage your whole family to sit through it.

The film begins in the garden of Gethsemane and ends with a short description of the resurrection. It is available with English subtitles as the actors in the film speak only Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic. This film definitely deserves a spot in your movie night lineup. 

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

2) “The Robe” (1953)

This 1953 Academy Award-winning fictional film directed by Henry Koster tells the story of Marcellus Gallio,  (played by Richard Burton) a Roman Soldier in charge of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Briefly after the crucifixion, Marcellus wins Jesus’s robe while gambling on Calvary. Marcellus then has nightmares about the crucifixion, and ultimately, becomes a follower of Christ.

While this is definitely an “old-school” film, it is fantastic and should not be forgotten! 

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3) “Son of God” (2014)

This 2014 film directed by Christopher Spencer is an adaptation of the History Channel miniseries, “The Bible.”

Unlike “The Passion of the Christ,” this film shows the entire life of Jesus (played by Diogo Morgado) beginning with His birth in the manger.

We are taken on a journey to see the full life of Jesus: how He gained His followers, the miracles He performed, His crucifixion, and resurrection.

While “The Passion of the Christ” is a crowd favorite, this great alternative provides more context. You truly get to see the Bible come to life!

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

4) “The Ten Commandments” (1956)

“The Ten Commandments” is a classic for a reason! This 1956 religious drama produced and narrated by Cecil DeMille features Charlton Heston as Moses.

The film focuses on the life of Moses and his dedication to freeing his people from captivity.

Beginning in a basket on the Nile, the film follows Moses’ journey into adulthood and portrays the Exodus of the Hebrews to Mount Sinai where he receives the 10 Commandments from God. This film is loved dearly, even by non-Christians.

This film is a reminder of the Lord’s commandments and gives us a model of courage and hope. 

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5) Ben-Hur (1959) 

This 1959 epic fiction film set in the time of Christ and directed by William Wyler is a loose adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.”

Charlton Heston portrays Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince convicted of an attempted assassination of the Roman governor of Judea, despite his innocence.

His childhood friend Messala, a Roman officer, convicts him, knowing he is innocent and sends him to the galleys. He also sends his innocent mother and sister to prison. While Ben-Hur is imprisoned as a slave and is being taunted by Roman officers, Jesus appears to Ben-Hur and gives him water.

After surviving, Ben-Hur is on a mission to find his family and seek revenge on Messala, but in doing so we are given a redemption story. Watching this film during Lent deserves a spot in the hearts of newer generations! 

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Bonus Future Classic Miniseries: “The Chosen” 

“The Chosen” has continued to receive global attention, with Jonathan Roumie’s portrayal of Jesus being a notable factor.

Created by Dallas Jenkins, this 2017 miniseries is based on the life and ministry of Christ.

The intimate portrayal of Jesus has captured the attention of even our youngest followers, which alone deserves recognition! New episodes are still to come but previous seasons are available on streaming services. 

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

Though many choose to limit screen time during Lent, watching these films with your loved ones may just bring you closer to Our Lord! 

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