The Last Temptation of Christ (film)

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The Last Temptation of Christ is a 1988 film about the life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese, based on the 1953 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis.


  • The feeling begins. Very tender, very loving. Then the pain starts. Claws slip underneath the skin and tear their way up. Just before they reach my eyes, they dig in. And I remember. First I fasted for three months. I even whipped myself before I went to sleep. At first it worked. Then the pain came back. And the voices. They call me by name. Jesus.
  • God loves me. I know he loves me. I want him to stop! I make crosses so he'll hate me so he'll find another! I want to crucify every one of his messiahs.
  • You think God belongs only to you? He doesn't. God is an immortal spirit who belongs to everybody, to the whole world. You think you're special? God is not an Israelite.
  • Today and tomorrow I cast out demons and work cures. On the third day, I will be perfected.
  • If I was a woodcutter, I'd cut. If I was a fire, I'd burn. But I'm a heart and I love. That's the only thing I can do.
  • In the desert, the baptist warned us, God is coming. Well, I'm telling you it's too late! He's already here. I'm here! And I'm going to baptize everybody... with fire!
  • [drawing a circle in the earth while he speaks to God] I'm not going to leave this circle, I'm not going to leave until you speak to me. No signs, no pain, just speak to me in human words. Whatever path you want, I'll take. Love, or the axe, or anything else. Now if you want me to stay here and die, I'll do that too, but you have to tell me.
  • [stares at the heavens] Father, will you listen to me? Are you still there? Will you listen to a selfish, unfaithful son? I fought you when you called, I resisted! I thought of no more. I didn't want to be your son! Can you forgive me? I didn't fight hard enough. Father, give me Your hand. I want to bring salvation! Father, take me back! Make a feast! Welcome me home! I want to be Your son! I want to pay the price! I want to be crucified and rise again! I want to be the Messiah!


  • [to Jesus in the World without the Crucifixion] You see, you don't know how much people need God. You don't know how happy He can make them. He can make them happy to do anything. Make them happy to die, and they'll die, all for the sake of Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth. The Son of God. The Messiah. Not you. Not for your sake. You know, I'm glad I met you. Because now I can forget all about you. My Jesus is much more important and much more powerful. Thank you, it's a good thing I met you.


Jesus: Brothers, my old friends! Listen to me! It's me the prophets preached about. God talked to me in the desert; he gave me a secret and told me to bring it to you. Didn't you hear me coming? I ran here to Nazareth, where I grew up, to bring you the news. The word of God is here now.
Voice in Crowd: You work miracles. Make a miracle for us. Make us believe in you. Otherwise, go away.
Jesus: The Messiah doesn't need miracles. He is the miracle. Now he's here. Are you ready for me? I'm here to tear down everything around you, and you know what I'm going to replace it with? Something new: God. The World of God. So take your bread and give it to the poor. What difference does it matter what you own? You have gold and silver? It's going to rot, and that rot is going to eat away your heart. All of you! There will be a flood, and there will be a fire. Everything will be destroyed. But there will be a new ark riding on that fire, and I hold the keys and I open the door, and I decide who goes in and who doesn't. You're my brothers from Nazareth, and you're the first I invite on the ark. Don't wait. Don't waste your life. Come with me.

Saul: You had orders to kill him and you haven't done it. Now he acts like a prophet, and you follow him!
Judas: Did you hear what he said back there?
Saul: Yes I heard him. We took an oath against Rome. I don't see a thing against Rome around here, all I see are Jews against Jews.
Judas: Then you're not listening.

Jeroboam: His spirit actually appeared to you. He treated you like a royal visitor. He recognized you for something.
Jesus: He couldn't have recognized me for anything. I only came here to serve God. That's all. That's all God wants from me. I'm sure of it.
Jeroboam: Think of how you're blessed. God actually makes himself known to you. I don't know what God wants from me. All my life I've wanted to hear God's voice. I've dedicated my life to him. Sometimes...I think I feel him, but I'm never really sure. But you always know. God took you by the hand and brought you here.
Jesus: You think it's a blessing to know what God wants? I'll tell you what he wants. He wants to push me over! Can't he see what's inside of me? All my sins.
Jeroboam: We all sin.
Jesus: Not my sins. I'm a liar. A hypocrite. I'm afraid of everything. I don't tell the truth. I don't have the courage. When I see a woman, I blush and look away. I want her, but I don't take her, for God, and that makes me proud. Then my pride ruins Magdalene. I don't steal, I don't fight...I don't kill. Not because I don't want to, but because I'm afraid. I want to rebel against you, against everything...against God, but...I'm afraid. You want to know who my mother and father are? You want to know who my God is? Fear. You look inside me and that's all you'll find.
Jeroboam: But the more devils we have inside of us, the more of a chance we have to repent.
Jesus: Lucifer is inside me. He says to me, You're not the son of King David. You're not a man, you're the Son of man. And more, the Son of God. And more than that, God. Do you want to ask me anything else?

Rabbi: That is blasphemy.
Jesus: Didn't they tell you? I am the saint of blasphemy. Don't make any mistakes, I didn't come here to bring peace, I came to bring a sword!
Rabbi: Talking like that will get you killed.
Jesus: Me, killed? Listen to me. This temple will be torn down in three days, torn down to the ground!

Jesus: Judas, my brother, I have something to tell you. I have a terrible secret from God. You know why I came to Jerusalem?
Judas: Yes. This is where the revolution is going to begin.
Jesus: Last night, Isaiah came to me. He had a prophecy. I saw it written. It said, "He has borne our faults; he was wounded for our transgressions, yet he opened now his mouth. Despised and rejected by all, he went forward without resisting, like a lamb led to the slaughter."
Judas: I don't understand.
Jesus: Judas, I am the lamb. I'm the one who's going to do.
Judas: Die? You mean you're not the Messiah?
Jesus: I am.
Judas: That can't be. If you're the Messiah, why do you have to die?
Jesus: Listen, at first, I didn't understand myself...
Judas: No, you listen. Every day, you have a different plan. First it's love, then the ax, and now you have to die. What good could that do?
Jesus: God only talks to me a little at a time and tells me as much as I need to know.
Judas: We need you alive!
Jesus: Now I finally understand! All my life-all my life, I've been followed by voices, by footsteps, by shadows. And do you know what that shadow is? The cross. I have to die on the cross, and I have to die willingly. We have to go back to the temple.
Judas: And after you die on the cross, what happens then?
Jesus: I come back to judge the living and the dead.

Jesus: I wish there was another way, but there isn't. I have to die on the cross.
Judas: I won't let you die.
Jesus: You don't have a choice. Neither do I. Remember, we're bringing God and man together. They'll never be together unless I die. I'm the sacrifice... Forget everything else, understand that.

Judas: How will you ever pay for your sins?
Jesus: With my life, Judas. With my life. I don't have anything else.

Peter: Don't you have any respect?
Judas: For him?
Jesus: [feebly] You don't understand...
Judas: Understand?... You broke my heart. Sometimes I curse the day I ever met you! We held the world in our hands. Remember what you told me? You took me in your arms, do you remember? And you begged me, "Betray me, betray me. I have to be crucified, I have to be resurrected so I can save the world. I am the lamb," you said. "Death is the door. Judas, my brother, don't be afraid. Help me go through the door." And I loved you so much, I went and betrayed you. And you... you... What are you doing here? What business do you have here, with women, with children? What's good for men isn't good for God! Why weren't you crucified?
Peter: Look at his wounds, Judas, they're bleeding. You're hurting him. That's enough.
Judas: He was going to be the New Covenant. Now there's no more Israel.
Jesus: No, you don't understand... The guardian angel... God sent a guardian angel to save me.
Judas: Angel? What angel? Look at her. [points at the feminine youth, who becomes a pillar of fire] Satan.
Satan: I told you we would meet again.

Jesus: You're here to trick me.
The Cobra/Satan: Trick you? To love and care for a woman, to have a family? This is a trick? Why are you trying to save the world? Aren't your own sins enough for you? What arrogance to think you can save the world. The world doesn't have to be saved: save yourself. Find love
Jesus: I have love.

Pontius Pilate: It's one thing to want to change the way people live... but you want to change how they think, how they feel.
Jesus: All I'm saying is that change will happen with love, not with killing.
Pontius Pilate: Either way, it's dangerous. It's against Rome. It's against the way the world is. And killing or loving, it's all the same. It simply doesn't matter how you want to change things. We don't want them changed.

About The Last Temptation of Christ (film)[edit]

  • In Last Temptation, I'm playing a Jesus, not the Jesus. If I'm thinking I'm playing the Jesus, I don't know where to begin.
    • Willem Dafoe [1]
  • If in secular Europe, the pope speaks out against the Scorsese film on Jesus' temptations, without even trying to pressure governments to ban it, the European secularist press, as if to pre-empt any suggestion of a ban, makes it quite clear that there can be no question of anyhow restricting the public's access to the film. If people don't want to see it, let them not go see it. That is their freedom, like it is other people's freedom to go see it, unimpeded by papal or governmental bans... In Europe, we have come to protect our constitutional freedoms, and hardly any bigot will even think of either seriously campaigning for a ban or using violence to punish people who show interest in the material to which he objects. All right, there was a bomb attack on a movie theater showing the Temptation film. But the culprit was simply caught and put in jail. Nobody has suggested that we should ban the film in order to avert violence. If at all there is a threat of violence, then there are no two opinions about the duty of the state to uphold the constitutional freedoms, and to prevent terror-mongers from dictating who can see what.
    • Elst, Koenraad (1991). Ayodhya and after: Issues before Hindu society.


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