"Proving the Truth"
What You Need To Know:
MOVIEGUIDE® has reviewed many documentaries and programs about Jesus throughout the years. The CNN series is one of the best. The casting is excellent. The experts are well edited. The dramatic recreations are powerful. These are entertaining programs propelled by a powerful premise of finding Jesus in the midst of faith, fact and forgery. What’s incredible is that both FINDING JESUS episodes are such strong affirmations of not only who Jesus was historically, but also the good news that He brought salvation to all those who call on His name.
|03/05/2017||The Pilate Stone and The Tomb of Lazerous||+4|
FINDING JESUS: FAITH. FACT. FORGERY. is a fascinating, Bible-affirming, faith affirming, Jesus affirming, miracle affirming documentary search for who Jesus is by looking at the characters involved in the Gospel accounts. MOVIEGUIDE® reviewed the first two episodes of Season Two, “The Pilate Stone” and “The Tomb of Lazarus.”
The episode about Pilate starts off with an archeologist noting that in recent years a memorial capstone mentioning Pontius Pilate was found in Caesarea, the capitol of Roman Israel. This chiseled stone inscription of Pilate’s name and title proves he was an historical person. In terms of the great Jewish historian, Josephus, and the Bible, there are two portraits of Pilate painted. One portrait shows him as a bloodthirsty Roman prelate who supposedly killed 60,000 people in gladiatorial games the first week of his governorship to entertain the populace of Israel. The other portrait in the Bible shows him vacillating, thoughtful and worried.
The episode seeks experts who are Catholic, Protestant and Jewish to find out who Plate was. In terms of the biblical account, when Pilate brings the Roman standards, which the Jews considered idolatrous blasphemy, into the temple, the Jews were willing to die en masse to protect the temple. So, Pilate backed down. Was this weakness or political savvy?
When Jesus comes on Palm Sunday into the temple, he challenges the Jewish religious leaders by throwing out the money changers. Clearly in Pilate’s eyes, this means trouble, because his job was to keep the peace.
A New York Times reporter notes that in January 2015, archeologists may have found the place where Pilate judged Jesus, which is more proof of the history of His Story. Even so, in the trial wherever it was held, Pilate didn’t want to convict Jesus. He questioned him in a manner that sounds real and conversational when we read the Gospel account today. Jesus said he wasn’t a threat when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He deeply disturbed Pilate, who asked, “What is truth?” since his job as Roman governor was to discover the truth. On the other hand, the Jews were so anxious to have Jesus crucified that they uttered the ultimate blasphemy, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Pilate was so loyal to the Emperor, who had declared himself to be god, the program says, that he could not see the true God in front of him. The program continues to affirm that Jesus Christ’s power was revealed in the Resurrection. It also says Pilate was necessary to the salvation story because without the conviction Jesus would not have died, and there would have been no justification, sanctification and redemption of our sins sealed by the Resurrection.
“The Tomb of Lazarus” is again a faithful episode. It says the resurrection of Lazarus was Jesus Christ’s greatest miracle.
It portrays the background of Lazarus and his sisters, Marth and Mary, living in Bethany just a short walk from Jerusalem. Martha, Mary and Lazarus were good friends of Jesus, and the Gospel of John mentions that Jesus loved Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Lazarus gets deathly sick (in those days death is the culmination of any severe sickness).
Martha sends a message to Jesus to tell him to come quickly, but Jesus seems to orchestrate the situation that he will come in a little while. They wonder why Jesus helped to heal others but not Lazarus. However, Jesus has a greater plan in mind and says that this is Lazarus’ destiny.
When Jesus returns to Bethany, Lazarus is dead, so Martha berates him, and Jesus asks, “Don’t you believe I am the resurrection and the life?” When Mary comes to tell Jesus Lazarus has been dead for four days, Jesus weeps. He then goes to the tomb and commands the stone to be rolled away despite the protests that Lazarus’ dead body must stink after four days. He commands Lazarus to come forth, and commands them to unbind him and let him go, showing that there is freedom in salvation, according to the episode.
The episode points out this is Jesus’ greatest miracle. It foreshadows his own resurrection, and it alerts the Jewish authorities there’s a threat to their power. The episode follows the history of Lazarus, who purportedly went to Cyprus in 44 AD, became a bishop and is buried there.
When the messenger came to tell Jesus Lazarus was dead, he uses the Greek word that this was the beloved friend. The episode conjectures that Lazarus could have been the beloved friend at the Last Supper and at the Cross, and gives some pretty interesting reasons.
The fact of the matter is that the episode affirms this incredible miracle where a regular human being was resurrected from the dead. As such, it affirms the history of the biblical story of Lazarus and affirms the salvation implicit in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
MOVIEGUIDE® has reviewed many documentaries and programs throughout the years about Jesus. The CNN series is one of the best produced. The casting is excellent. The experts are well edited. And, the dramatic recreations are powerful. These are entertaining programs propelled by a powerful premise of finding Jesus in the midst of faith, fact and forgery. What’s incredible is that both FINDING JESUS episodes reviewed were such strong affirmations of not only who Jesus was historically, but also the good news that He brought salvation to all those who call on His name.
MOVIEGUIDE® commends CNN, urges viewers to watch the programs and thank CNN for them, and rejoices that the ratings were so good that they demonstrate the world is hungry for the Good News of Jesus Christ.