What perfect timing the History Channel gave to airing The Bible. After celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus yesterday, last night’s episode of The Bible was the perfect way to end this most important day of the year!
Last night’s episode literally took us through the Passion and death of Jesus all the way to his Resurrection three days later. This made for television production that really pushed the limits when it came to showing the horrors of what our Lord went through. From His excruciating scourging, to His exhaustion at having to carry his own cross through the streets of Jerusalem up to Golgotha, to the nails being brutally hammered through his flesh… this was no run of the mill Hollywood portrayal of the Crucifixion. As a viewer, I felt like I was witnessing my Lord’s suffering. I felt pain and gratitude to my very core.
I was so glad to see that they gave Mary, Jesus’ mother, a role during His Passion. We sometimes forget what it must have been like for her to see her boy suffer they way He did. Even knowing that His purpose, God’s purpose, was to make all things new, how she must have wanted to rescue Him from the pain He was going through.
While most Hollywood narratives end at the Resurrection, The Bible takes us past that glorious day, when Jesus appears to His disciples. We even get to see His Ascension into Heaven, after He gives his disciples what we refer to as “The Great Commission”, to go out to all the world and tell the Good News! He also told them that He would send the Holy Spirit to them to assist them in this mission.
We see that 50 days later the Holy Spirit, like a great wind, comes to each of the disciples. They speak in foreign tongues about Jesus, the Messiah who died for our sins and rose from the dead three days later! A great conversion had begun!
This series also depicted the early church, and the suffering they endured for following Jesus. The Bible introduced Stephen, Paul and Annanais, as well as telling how each of these men had a great impact on the church. Martyred, none of them feared death because of their faith in everlasting life, in Jesus.
I’d like to end by personally thanking Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for having the fortitude to stand against what our culture calls “PC”, and step out to make a wonderful 10 hour series, giving honor and glory to God’s plan of salvation. Their purpose in making this series was not to appeal to those of us who know the Bible backwards and forwards, or who can point out that there was a lot of the Bible left out of this production. They know that. They made this series hoping to entice a new generation to get BACK into God’s Word. Our culture is so far removed from even knowing these iconic Bible truths, that hopefully after watching how God’s plan of Salvation came together so perfectly in Jesus, that there would be a desire to know more about Him; about His church; about their own purpose in this world.
This series was not perfect. No depiction could be. But it was beautifully done, and I also pray that it was able to inspire some to come to Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life.
Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.