Mel Does It Himself
A bit of film trivia.
I do not know what his purpose was, but did you know that it was Mel Gibson's hand that drove the nails on Jesus when he was being crucified in the film? Notice the Roman band strap on his arm. I really did not notice this while watching the film, but I have this vague recollection that the scene frame involved only the hands of a Roman soldier doing it. Now we know it was Mel Gibson.
What was that for? He could have asked any other actor or extra to do it. Why him?
For impact, perhaps? To gain more media mileage?
Or did he do it to convey a message that the crucifixion of Jesus was the responsibility of everyone? In the film, all the actual physical punishment Jesus received from the scourging to the crucifixion was handed down by the Romans. Not a single Jew laid a hand on him, even if it was them who were so bloodthirsty to have Jesus' head. If there was one other Jew involved, it was Simon of Cyrene, but what he did was help Jesus, not punish him. Collective responsibility. I think this is Gibson's message.
We crucified Jesus. All of us killed him. Proponents of anti-Semitism can heave a sigh of relief now if they still think the film makes them look bad.