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Ben Hur meets Jesus

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Published on Feb 2, 2008

Ben-Hur is a 1959 epic film directed by William Wyler, and is the third version of Lew Wallace's novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880). It premiered at Loews Theater in New York City on November 18, 1959. The film went on to win eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a feat equaled only by Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003).

The film is subtitled "A Tale of the Christ," and it is at this point that Jesus' presence is substantially increased. Esther (daughter of Judah Ben Hur´s slave) witnesses the Sermon on the Mount and is moved by Christ's words.

She tells Ben-Hur about it, but he remains bitter and will not be consoled. Learning that Tirzah is dying, they take her and Ben-Hur's mother to see Jesus, but they cannot get near him, as his trial has begun.

Recognizing Jesus from his encounter with him as he was being taken to the galleys, Judah attempts to give him water during his march to Calvary, echoing Jesus' kindness to him, but is shoved away by the guards.

Judah witnesses the Crucifixion. Immediately after Christ's death, Miriam and Tirzah are healed by a miracle (Christ's blood from the Crucifixion washes into the cave where the women are hiding and touches them), as are Judah's heart and soul.

He returns to his home and tells Esther that as he heard Jesus talk of forgiveness while on the cross, "I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand." The film, which began with the Magi visiting the infant Jesus, ends with the empty crosses of Calvary in the background and a shepherd and his flock (a prominent Judeo-Christian symbol) in the foreground.

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