In his only radio interview about his soon-to-be released film, Mel Gibson told Focus on the Family founder James Dobson the controversy surrounding “The Passion of the Christ,” has been difficult on him and his family but not unexpected.

“I felt the sting of these things; I think they’re unfair,” Gibson said in reference to charges he and his film are anti-Semitic.

“But if you’re going to deal with the Passion, you’re going to take some hits,” the filmmaker said.

In the conversation, which will air Monday on the Focus on the Family broadcast, Dobson told Gibson he found the film “deeply disturbing and shocking and at the same time a powerful witness to the price paid by Jesus Christ for you and me.”

“It left me with a sense of guilt and responsibility,” said Dobson, who has seen a rough cut of the film twice. “I did this to Him. I’m part of the curse of sin that was laid upon Him.”

The film opens Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, in more than 2,800 theaters nationwide.

Gibson admitted to Dobson the R-rated film covering the last 12 hours of the life of Christ is graphic.

But the scenes of Jesus’ scourging and crucifixion were depicted that way for a reason, Gibson said.

“It’s hard to watch, but somehow it’s inspiring,” he explained. “There’s something about the experience of it, the violence of it, the humiliations and the torture of it [that] relays the enormity of the sacrifice.”

Gibson insists he harbors no hatred toward Jews over the circumstances of Jesus’ death.

“It’s really obvious from the first frames of the film that [Jesus’ death is] a pre-ordained and divine plan,” he said. “That means the Almighty had this all figured out to put into effect at this time with his son.”

Dobson said the personal impact was powerful.

“It created in me an even greater love for Jesus Christ,” he said. “I don’t know how that is possible, but that’s what it did.”

As WorldNetDaily reported, Dobson has urged Christians to see Gibson’s film, calling it “easily the most heart-wrenching, powerful portrayal of Christ’s suffering that I have ever seen.”

In a letter to supporters he said it’s not alleged anti-Semitism, but the film’s faithfulness to the biblical account that truly underlies opposition in the mainstream media.

“Apparently,” wrote Dobson “the idea of a movie that accurately portrays the death and resurrection of Christ and that ‘has the power to evangelize’ is more than certain members of the liberal media establishment can stomach.”

Editor’s note: Coinciding with the release of Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” WorldNetDaily has produced one of the most extraordinary editions of its monthly Whistleblower magazine ever produced, titled “THE DAY JESUS DIED.”

Read WorldNetDaily’s extensive coverage of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

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