Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Bible Series - Passion

This final episode of The Bible series on the History Channel didn't disappoint. If anything, it exceeded the impact of the four previous episodes. The parts of the story are familiar to many of us but watching it on the screen instead of reading it in The Book made me think some new thoughts.

The Passion

  • Caiaphas, the high priest who sought to kill Jesus, thought he was right. He knew he served the one true God of Israel. He served God the best he knew how - faithful to the Law. Yet, he couldn't see that God was doing something new. I hope I never cling so tightly to what God has done in the past that I can't see how He is working in the present or in the future.
  • Peter denied knowing Christ three times. We know that part. But I wonder what I would have said if someone asked me if I knew Jesus? Right now, I'd agree eagerly and wholeheartedly. But what if I were as confused and unsure as Peter must have been that night? What if my life hung in the balance?
  • I watched them flog Jesus and wondered, "Why was the beating necessary? Couldn't His death on the cross have been the extent of the horror? Why beat Him as well?" Maybe I'll find the answer... For now, I'll leave it that He was pierced for our sins and we are healed by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5).
  • How would the people of Jerusalem have responded if they had known what they were witnessing that Passover day? Knowing what I know now, how would I have responded if I were there? I don't think I could endure the sight. Indeed, no words can describe - Hollywood will never fully portray - the extent of what happened that day.
  • I can't imagine how the disciples must have felt as they waited those three days - unsure, confused, alone, doubting, questioning, anxious?

The Church

  • Jesus said, "Go and tell. I am here." A few days later, Peter was empowered to say, "My brothers, my sisters. We have work to do." This line holds true to us today. Peter and the other disciples started the work; we are called to still carry it out today.
  • I loved the epic portrayal of the coming of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost. The coming of the Spirit rocked their world and changed their lives. Yet it's no big deal for us; many Christians don't even know it happens or what it means! We are the temple - the dwelling place of God on earth. His power, His love, His grace flow through us to the world. Let it rock your world like it did the lives of the disciples!
  • I was moved to see Paul's hatred - his vehement anger - for the Christians. Then, to know that God chose Him, forgave Him, and transformed Him. What a testament to the power of God. 
  • God chose those men - the original disciples and the apostle Paul - to change the world. It doesn't stop there, though. He calls you to change the world as well. With the power of Christ, you can make a difference!

I've enjoyed sharing these videos with you. I appreciate Roma Downey and Mark Burnett's willingness to invest in their creation. Yes, they weren't perfect and have received much criticism because of it. Here's the thing, though. Neither am I, neither are you. Hopefully you've watched them and learned something new of God's epic plan for humanity.

It is a plan, a continuous story from Genesis to Revelation. God's love story stretches from His creation in the garden and will reach its fulfillment in the glorious paradise of eternity. So whether we're talking about Noah, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, Martin Luther, Billy Graham, or one of us, His children, we are all part of the same love story.

Other articles in this series

The Bible Series - Beginnings (Episode 1)
The Bible Series - Homeland (Episode 2)
The Bible Series - Hope (Episode 3)
The Bible Series - Mission (Episode 4)

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