Damned either way
There is one thing that appears certain about the movie. Whether loved, hated or other, it is being talked about at length.
The "snake" is mentioned in Genesis, though it is called the serpent, temptor, and such, where it is cursed to crawl on its belly...it will for ever strike at the heal of woman, and it will have its head crushed by her same heal.
At some part of the new testament, Jesus commands a rich man who is a disciple to take Mary as his mother, and Mary to take "Joseph" (I think) as her son. The point was to make provisions for his mother in her old age. He is the same man, who's tomb Jesus was laid in.
There is another reference in the new testament (and old), describing the "visage" of Christ as being unrecognizable, after the scourge. If anyone is familiar with the "whips" the Romans used to torture their condemned, you would have to consider the probability that there may not have been much epedermal layer left intact on him, after his whipping. The "whip" was constructed of leather thongs, with bits of bone and jagged stone sewn into the thongs. There were usually nine thongs to a whip, tied to a wooden handle about two feet long. The thongs were usually three to five feet in length and would be moving in excess of 100 miles per hour when they struck the back of the condemned. In later years, the term "Cat 'O' Nine tails" became the descriptor. Consider the damage a "Bull whip" can inflict with just one leather thong, and no bones or bits of stone added. It can take a man's head off, with one stroke...
As for carrying the "cross" from the chambers to the hill of skulls, Roman history is rift with examples of the condemned carrying the "cross beam" tied to the condemned's back and arms, while the main beam was already buried and cemented into the ground. The cruxifix was designed with a shiplap, or mortise and tennon (simple version of a dove tail) joint, which pieced the two together as one, using rope or peg and dowel fasteners. The typical dimensions of the cross beam was about 8 x 8 inches, and weighed approximately 100 to 200 pounds (it was made of dogwood, or other dense wood).
The nailing of the hands (through the wrist bones), was not so much as to hold the condemned in place as it was to add insult to injury (and excruciating, mind numbing agony). Same goes with the ankle bones. Usually the condemned was also lashed loosely with ropes around the arms above the elbow, so that the condemned would sink from his own body weight, causing restriction on his breathing, forcing him to "stand" on his feet to relieve the pressure on his lungs, but starting the cycle of agony all over again.
If after awhile (or once the guards were bored), the condemned was not dead (which could take DAYS), the lower leg bones would be deliberately broken, which prevented the condemned from standing, subsequently causing the condemned's lungs to fill with fluid, and he drowned. The Romans actually considered this to be a final act of mercy, that the condemned did not deserve.
This is not Biblical myth...it is historical fact, and it was all in a typical day.
The Jews did not kill Jesus (literally). The Romans did. And the Romans took great pleasure and pride in their execution skills. They wrote manuals inadnauseam on how to do it.
The bodies of the condemned were not usually buried either. Rather they were left to rot and to feed the carrion. It was unusual for a body to be brought down from a cuxifix for a "proper burial". Because of this Roman Guards were posted at the entrance of tombs to ensure enough time passed, and the body decomposed enough that no insurgent fanatical group would steal the body. In the heat of the Middle east, the significant decomposition of a body usually took from three to seven days (significant meaning the body exploded from the gas build up, along with bacterial and vermin infestation). After that, anyone entering the tomb would most likely die from toxic and hazardous gasses in the atmosphere, as well as a lack of oxygen. Death would be almost instantaneous.
The orders for the tomb guards were simple - no one gets the body, or your body would be on the next cross, if not worse.
The tomb guards were then usually HIGHLY MOTIVATED in preventing the theft of the body from the tomb.
Again, this is all historical fact, concerning roman punishment tactics.
And yes, at 48 years of age, Mary would have been an old woman in Palistine @ 33 ACE (AD). She was a widow, and shunned...a death sentence for any old person without means. What ever Jesus was, he was no fool, and had clear enough insight to see to his mother's needs. Hell, he convinced a tax collector to rally to his cause, why not a rich merchant to protect and provide for his mother (I would have). Life insurance...old testament style.
If you wish, I will research and provide specific information to back what I've just wrote (I love research).
Personally, I commend Mr. Gibson for the effort he put into this labour of love of his. On that note alone I will watch the movie in appreciation. As far as my Jewish neighbor is concerned...his ancestor may have screamed "death", but my ancestor may well have driven the spear into the side of a man named Jesus...and watched water and blood pour from the wound.