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A.D.: The Bible Continues

Vincent Regan (left center) as Pontius Pilate in a scene from the new movie from Robert Burnett and Roma Downey, A.D. The Bible Continues, the continuation of the their original epic The Bible miniseries (Credit: NBC)

{source}<iframe style=”float: left; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/dSoFbndq0xs?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}In 2013, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s show, The Bible, aired on The History Channel; more than 13 million people watched.  Hoping for similar success, Downey and Burnett’s new series, A.D., picks up the biblical narrative at the trial and death of Jesus and will continue into the book of Acts.

A.D. premieres this Sunday at 8pm (Central) on NBC and will continue for 12 weeks. We got to watch the first episode in advance and it does not take prophetic insight to foretell that this show will do well.  High production value is a great place to start, but as we’ve seen in the theaters lately with Russell Crowe as Noah and Christian Bale as Moses, it is no guarantee of a satisfied audience.  Thankfully, Downey and Burnett’s retelling fills in the necessary gaps to turn the pages of history into a TV show with tasteful and historically considerate drama rather than rock-monster-fallen-angels.

No spoiler alert is necessary.  Jesus was crucified.  Today, he is risen.  Watching A.D. was a reminder of the wonder of the Gospel.  And in a way, breathed new life into it for me.  I got to imagine what it was like for the disciples who were torn between their doubt and Jesus’ prophecy that he would rise on the third day.  The fear, grief, doubt and hope that filled those days for Jesus’ followers must have been overwhelming.

When Jesus died, the temple curtain, separating the Holy of Holies from the people, was torn in two.  This is one of the most powerful symbols in history to me.  Christ has made the way for you and me to be in God’s holy presence.  God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus instead of you and me so that we could be near.  I recommend you watch A.D. and be reminded of the powerful and mysterious story in which we play a part.

The crucifixion really happened.  Somewhere outside the city walls of Jerusalem there was a tomb made of stone where Jesus’ dead body was laid.  From that spot Jesus was raised from the dead.  Today “he always lives to make intercession” (Hebrews 7:25) for those seeking to be near the Father.  And someday, soon we pray, Jesus will return as he promised.  

Please join me in praying, “come Lord Jesus, come.”