I have never gone viral before… well mostly just medically but not socially. On Monday, 4/21/14, it finally happened. A film I have worked on, prayed over, spent a year strategizing has hit 1 million views+ and I am so excited. The things I have seen go viral in my career were always something so shallow or ridiculous that people of the interwebs see it and say “Oh that is fun” and they share. Few things really strike up a meaningful conversation and often the message of such videos get caught up and lost in the mass of free thinkers online. For example, Kony 2012, was very thoughtful and well-meaning but soon became under attack by every side and the filmmaker literally had a breakdown and went temporarily insane. You can read more about that here.
The film I helped produce is also being attacked which is what I and many others on the project have anticipated. Just the fact that being a Jew for Jesus stirs up trouble by nature, to then address the very sensitive topic of the Jewishness of Jesus as well as identifying Him with His Jewish people during one of their darkest moments in history, the holocaust, you could say we were asking for trouble. Yet the feedback we received in just a few days of the launch might surprise you. I like many others who worked on the project assumed the worst as far as what response the film would get, but I was pleasantly surprised by many responses from people who took some time to really think about the reality we were portraying.
Jesus in the Holocaust! This is a shocker to those who stay to the 2 minute mark of the film. The entire concept of the film stirs up many issues. Where was God when the six million died? Why did God allow this to happen? Weren’t the Nazi all church going Christians? Is Jesus even Jewish anymore? Some never even begin to question the film and just jump straight to the criticism. How dare they even touch the holocaust! They should be ashamed! And what of the suffering of the Palestinians or Native American Indians or whatever other people group has faced persecution. They all miss the point of the film because they are purely reactionary and didn’t actually watch the film to see the author’s intent. Speaking of author’s intent, we made several small works to accompany the film and help shape the conversation. The best we did in my opinion is the why we made this film. It speaks so clearly about the conversation and how it has been distorted through history and how vital it is to have this conversation today. I believe those who honesty come to the table and have this vital discussion surrounding the Jewish identity of Jesus will find unity through Jesus. With that said here are a few of my favorite comments both positive and mostly negative (because they are the most interesting) and links to their full articles.
“Jews for Jesus Releases ‘That Jew Died for You’ Video Ahead of Easter, Holocaust Remembrance Day” ~Christian Post
“The most tasteless YouTube video ever has just been released” ~Jewish Forward
“A new video commissioned by Jews for Jesus has gone viral on the Internet and is already causing a stir.” ~Jerusalem Post
“It’s like JfJ are PETA now…willing to do anything for publicity. I fully expect them to open a Jesus deli downtown: ThatJewCooksForYou.com” ~ Religion Dispatches
“Now that Jews have started to tire of their own Holocaust industry, some Jews have decided to send Jesus to the gas chambers just ahead of Easter.” ~ MWC News (Anti-Zionist)
There are a lot more comments on the thatjewdiedforyou.com go check them out.
If you have not yet seen the film watch now!
If you want to know why we made this film watch this!
If you want to hear firsthand testimonies of real-life holocaust survivors who believe in Jesus watch here.
Be Blessed Sean Trank