International (MNN) — Reaching today's youth with the Gospel can be difficult. One ministry has created a project that may well meet them where they are.
The film "My Last Day" by JESUS Film Project made it's release debut yesterday. The story focuses on a thief in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago. The thief is convicted of his crime and sentenced to death on a cross. Hanging next to him is another man, Jesus Christ.
Using some of the same dialogue from the original "JESUS" film, the short-film shows the thief grieving over his guilt as he realizes Christ's innocence. The biblical story presents the hope of forgiveness in Christ clearly and concisely.
"My Last Day" is certainly a different perspective on the crucifixion than what most expect, but the perspective is not necessarily the main thing that will first catch teens' attention. The film is short, for one thing–only nine minutes, so teens should have no problem sticking with the fast-paced story.
More than that, though, the style of the film may capture hearts. It's done in anime, a graphic animation-style extremely popular with youth and young adults in Asia (especially in quake-ravaged Japan), Europe, and America.
As students discover this new anime film, they will find much more than a pristinely-animated short-film. They will find hope, truth, and hopefully the start of a new life as they identify with the thief's feelings of guilt, shame, and, ultimately, redemption.
So far, viewings of the film have shown its great promise as an outreach tool. "It's perfect to provide opportunities to open doors to engage the ‘media generation' and could be a prelude to effectively presenting the Gospel to tens of thousands of young people across the globe," notes JESUS Film Project executive director Jim Green.
"My Last Day" shows much of the excruciating pain experienced by those crucified, so although it is animated, parents may want to watch it first before very young children watch it. You can view the trailer here. You can watch the full film here.
Pray that this film would touch many young hearts and result in thousands of lives won for the Kingdom.