Speaking last week to the congregation of the First Baptist Church in Orlando, FL, actor Jim Caviezel admitted that playing the role of Jesus in the blockbuster film, "The Passion of the Christ," has seriously limited his career, saying that he has since been "rejected in (his) own industry."
Caviezel says he was warned by the film's director, Mel Gibson, that this was a real possibility. Caviezel responded saying, "We all have to embrace our crosses."
The actor wasn't at all surprised by the reaction to the film. "Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been," explained Caviezel. "Not much has changed in 2,000 years."
While Jim Caviezel is an avowed follower of Jesus Christ, it was ironically not his personal faith, but his portrayal of the Savior that landed him on the Hollywood blacklist. Usually, "playing" at being a Christian elicits an innocuous response at best. It's not until we get "real" with our faith that we begin to pose a real threat to the status quo. The Christian who is serious about following the Savior can expect nothing less than scorn and disdain from the world.
Jesus Himself clearly communicated not only the inevitablility of such treatment, but spoke of the blessing that would follow saying, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:1-12).
It is a point not missed by Caviezel himself, admitting that he has no regrets. "We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth," adding that he is assured he’ll recieve his reward in heaven.