Ben-Hur: An inspirational story of redemption

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston play Messala and Judah Ben-Hur in the film.Philippe Antonello

Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) thinks he knows where his life is heading. A Jewish prince in 1st-century Jerusalem, Judah has wealth, privilege, an adopted brother he can rely on in Messala (Toby Kebbell), and a bride-to-be in the beautiful Esther (Nazanin Boniadi). When he and Esther encounter a wise carpenter named Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) during a trip to the market, Judah isn't especially interested in what the man has to say. Who needs spiritual answers when there don't seem to be any questions?

Then everything falls apart. Falsely accused of treason, stripped of his title and separated from his family, Judah is sold into slavery. He spends years at sea, brooding on his hatred for the person who betrayed him: his former friend, Messala. When he gets the chance to return to Jerusalem he grasps at it, seeing an opportunity for revenge.

But there are a few twists still left in Judah's tale. Jesus is now a preacher loved by the people but hated by the Roman authorities, and his story will intertwine with Judah's in unexpected, transformative ways. Their encounters will open up the possibility of an alternative future for Judah: one characterised not by hatred, but by redemption.

This exciting new blockbuster will bring the Ben-Hur story to a new generation. It's a fantastic opportunity for the Church to get on board with something special, whether that's by running an outreach event or going to see it together as a community. Free resources from Damaris Media – including this 22-minute special created especially for the faith community – are there to help church groups dig deeper into the film's themes. The video includes clips from the film, behind-the-scenes footage and reflections from cast, crew and faith leaders.

We hope you're excited to celebrate the film's powerful portrayal of Jesus and its moving message about forgiveness. Be sure not to miss this epic adventure when it comes to cinemas on September 7.

This article comes from Damaris Media, which creates free film resources for community groups. Download Ben-Hur resources, including exclusive videos and a discussion guide, at at

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