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4/10/12

Why Do We Watch The Ten Commandments During Easter?

I am sure most of you have seen the movie The Ten Commandments.  If memory serves me correctly, I even watched this 4-hour epic in school.  (Public school, no less.)

Every Christmas and every Easter, you can find this movie being played on multiple TV stations, usually in 'marathon' format.  One local station even played it 'unedited and commercial free' this year.

But, I have a question:

What does the story of Moses leading the Jews from captivity have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?  Or the birth, for that matter?

I understand that Passover and Easter crossed paths this year, and the movie touches upon the back-story of Passover a bit, but this movie plays every Easter.  Even though the Moses story rings true for Protestants and Jews alike, it is seen as a "Christian" movie.

Maybe because it is one of the most famous, respected films of the 20th century?  Maybe because it was the only religious movie worth showing year after year, over and over?

If you want to be more holiday-appropriate, why not show The Passion of the Christ?  It's historically accurate, tells the Easter message better than Charlton Heston can, and is another 'critically acclaimed masterpiece' of modern cinema.

Is it because it's so bloody and gruesome?

Do TV networks only want to show the 'happy, clean' version of religion?

Or is it because nobody has put 2 and 2 together yet?

This isn't a religious tirade, or a call to action.... just a question.  If the church (in any way, shape or form) complains about the "true message of the holiday" being lost, why not show the message to the masses?  The Ten Commandments is an awesome movie, even for the non-religious, but doesn't really do the Jesus-message justice.

Anyway, food for thought.
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24 witty retorts:

Stephanie said...

I never even realized that this movie was played at Easter. Odd. We used to watch Jesus Christ Superstar at Easter. Good music AND bell bottoms.

Lady Estrogen said...

Well, since both Passover AND Easter come round every year, I think they should alternate the Marathon between the 2 epic films.

PS. I'm thinking that most networks are Jewish-owned, right? I mean, it IS Hollywood. Ahem.

neo.enviro said...

I don't think I've ever seen it. Tuning in and out of The Passion of the Christ was a tradition for me but the TV network that showed it stopped for some reason the last year or two :/ I have a few Easter habits

Zombie said...

I never knew there was a movie watching tradition on easter. What is this? Christmas??

meandmythinkingcap said...

May be I am going to hell, because I haven't watched this. And should Jews play hitler to honor their holidays ?

Workingdan said...

The Passion of the Christ is an excellent movie and better represents the Easter story but yes, probably too bloody for T.V.

It's been a long, long time since I seen the Ten Commandments. I rarely have time for T.V. anymore. When I do watch, it is usually Spongebob because the kids seem to own all rights to the T.V.

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

I don't know if it is in anyone's Easter traditions to watch this or any other movie, I just know it's played often around easter.

I'm more of the easter bunny type, but no traditions here. No It's The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown or anything like that...

Lil Dreamer said...

I didn't realize "we" did this. I've actually never seen The Ten Commandments. I have however, seen Passion of Christ and can see where that would be fitting on Easter. I imagine the trouble is it must be too new. As a prerequisite, I believe the movie needs to be at least ten years old for the generic television stations to play.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

I seriously didn't see either of them... Shame on me?!

CrazyTragicAlmostMagic said...

I've never seen The Ten Commandments. Passion of the Christ however, I've seen and I completely agree. That movie is about nothing but the crucifixtion and resurrection. It's way too graphic for regular cable. It's why you never see it on, even edited.

carrie said...

I have seen the ten commandments (went to catholic school, fairly certain it was a prerequisite) but I never did watch the "Passion of The Christ"; I think that's because I am not really into religion anymore. That being said I agree with you, if you love easter for more than the big jumping bunny and tons of chocolate then it would make sense to play this movie over the airways instead of the ten commandments.

Sweety Darlin said...

Okay I have seen both, and while The Passion would be more Easter appropriate, the reality is most Christians want to focus on the happy Jesus rose from the dead and he isn't a brain eating zombie. Where as the Ten Commandments is all happy little guy wins, and that makes people happy too.

They accept that he was tortured and died on some big logs and taunted, but they would rather not promote the bullying portion of the history books.

www.sweetydarlin.blogspot.com

The Beans said...

I haven't seen either film, really. I wasn't even aware that "The Ten Commandments" was shown in public school and on network TV stations. o_O

-Barb the French Bean

the Tsaritsa said...

I'd rather watch Heston than see Mel Gibson's "Passion." Matter fact, I'd rather watch the "Passion" episode of South Park than watch that movie. I heard it has special effects, but I'm pretty sure you can't say it's historically accurate, maybe "biblically accurate."

G said...

That had never occurred to me but you're right...why does it always get trotted out?
We always go and watch the local passion play...less gruesome and more community orientated.

Brea said...

Ben Hur is the other go to for Easter, that at least covers the passion week story.

Yes, Ten Commandments is a Passover story, but so much of the Passover story is foreshadowing of the story of Christ.

The blood of the lamb causing the angel of death to PASS OVER and spare the life of the first born. A pure and blemish free lamb had to die to save the life of the first born. This mirrors the sinless Christ dying to give life to the sinner. The two stories are very much important to each other.

Out of Barnes said...

I've always wondered why It's A Wonderful Life is shown only at Christmas time.

Jillian said...

Easter takes place *almost simultaneously* with Passover because Jesus and his disciples were in Jersusalem for the holiday when he was arrested. (Both are determined using non-civil calendars which were preliminarily lunar, but are no more. That's why Easter changes dates every year.) So that may be part of the connection for the annual Heston love affair. I'm also pretty sure it has something to do with the beard.

Also, Jim Caviezel, aka Gibson's Jesus Christ, once dated my next door neighbor. And her twin sister. Whoa baby.

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

Wow, Jesus gets around, doesn't he?

Pish Posh said...

"the Jesus message" haha.

Kelley said...

Hmmmm... I love questions like this one. I don't know. I think you are probably right about the movie being recognized as a good one or something. I liked the Passion of the Christ, but I guess it is too bloody? I don't know. I will be thinking about this one!

Sonja said...

I'm not christian, but I still HAVE to watch The Ten Commandments every Easter. t's a family tradition. I can't help it. And I also don't know why. My theory is that for years and years it was the only religios movie that was done well enough to show repeatedly. Or that they COULD show every year. Since it was made other religious movies have been made and are awsome, but really not for network tv. I did notice a long time ago though that I was asking the same question as you did. I even polled everyone I knew about it cause it bugged me so much. Unfortunately, it didn't really get me anywhere because no one else knew either.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sonja on this one too. I have seen both movies. My heart was broken in The Passion...so I'm not sure how many times I can watch that one again and again but The Ten COmmandments IS a feel good movie and it was the first of its kind back then. Another good one was The Exodus. I haven't seen it since it first played back in the stoneage but I got the piano music and its still one of my favoriate pieces to play. I digresss, the answer is we'll probably never know unless someone on here knows someone in the movie industry.

Sheila said...

BTW that last comment was mine. I didn't mean to hit "Anonymous" lol.

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