In the beginning of the movie and the novel, three wise men (Balthazar of Alexandria, the Persian scholar Melchior, and the Indian scholar Caspar) visit Christ and his family shortly after his mother Mary gives birth to Christ. Jesus will live with his parent and grow up to become an adult, religious leader, and the one known as 'The Messiah' (Christ), the Son of God who is crucified for the sins of humanity before rising from the dead, according to Christian Gospels and early Christian writings.

In "Ben-Hur", after the chariot race in which Ben-Hur beats Messala, Ben-Hur and his compatriots learn that Jesus had been arrested and is going to be crucified. During the march to Calvary, Ben-Hur realizes that he knew the man Esther and Balthazar are so excited about. Ben-Hur then follows the procession to Calvary and is one of many, including Balthazar as the only member of the wise men, to witness the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Balthasar (during the crucifixion) says, "I have lived too long".

In the moments before Jesus dies, he shares a vision with Ben-Hur to convince the young Jew that it was his will that this all happen and that Ben-Hur allow the crucifixion to proceed. As Jesus says, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do", Ben-Hur feels the dying man's voice take the sword of anger and hatred out of his hand.

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