In this, the fourth week, of The Bible Series on The History Channel, we will view the life of Jesus. From His miracles to His betrayal, the series will follow the events of Jesus’ ministry leading up to his arrest and conviction.
Episode 7: Mission
Brutal Roman occupation has divided the Jews, but Jesus is drawing in crowds in rural Galilee with his miraculous powers, and his inspirational words. But some do not want it – Pharisees like Simon believe the Jews will survive only by staying close to God through the traditions of Moses. When Jesus continues to break the rules of Judaism, Simon takes his ire to the top – to the High Priest Caiaphas in Jerusalem. Caiaphas, however, has bigger concerns – brutal governor Pilate is killing the Jewish people. Crowds continue to flock to Jesus and, when he miraculously feeds them all, they call for him to be their King. Jesus retreats from their aggressive demand and the disciples are thrown in to confusion about their master and their mission. What kind of messiah is he? Whilst Peter is sure of Jesus’ divinity, he is less certain about his own faith – he plunges into stormy water when he tries to walk out to Jesus, as he walks on water. The faith of all the disciples is fully confirmed when Jesus shows that he has power even over life itself by bringing a dead man, Lazarus, back to life. They will all need the greatest reserves of strength and faith as they move ever closer toward the point of their mission, to Jerusalem, and into direct conflict with the religious and political authorities there. The most almighty storm is brewing.
Episode 8: Betrayal
In the week before Passover, Jerusalem is full of pilgrims, celebrating the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. The desire for freedom from their oppressors, the Romans, burns strong. Now, Jesus makes his entrance riding on a donkey – a declaration that he is the Messiah. The crowd rejoices. But High Priest Caiaphas recoils in horror – any unrest and Pilate will shut down the Temple. Now, Jesus confounds all in a protest against hypocrisy by turning on the money- changers in the Temple. Enraged Caiaphas finds a way to get to Jesus – through disciple Judas who is coaxed into betrayal. The disciples are thrown into turmoil by Jesus’ announcement that their shared supper together will be their last. Not only will Jesus be killed, but one of their own will betray him. Judas runs from the scene and Peter receives his own devastating prediction – he too will fall away. Jesus and the disciples withdraw in prayer to the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas and the arresting Temple guards rush in. Jesus allows himself to be led away and the disciples scatter. He is tied up and faces trial by the Jewish elders, despite Nicodemus’ protestations. The accusation: blasphemy. The punishment: death. Caiaphas finds Jesus guilty and the crowd outside is told the verdict. Everyone feels betrayed.
The Bible Series airs each Sunday night in March on The History Channel. For more information you can visit the website at bibleseries.tv.
Has The Bible series led you to discuss the Scriptures with someone you normally would not have before?