NBC Aires A.D. The Bible Continues, Follow Up to The Bible Series

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NBC is airing a mini series called A.D. The Bible Continues. Picking up where The Bible left off, this new 12 episode series focuses on the events that took place following Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The first episode, which premiered on April 5 (Easter day!), covers Jesus’ crucifixion, and the confusion felt by many over the events surrounding His death. Episode 1 also covers the time between when He died and when He rose again, winding things up with an angel rolling away the stone from the tomb. It hits the main highlights, as well as a number of the details, of what Scripture says took place.  In addition, it gives us a glimpse as to what might have been going through the heads of some of those who played a part in the story.

There is some use of poetic license to add drama and build suspense (for example, some of the scenes and dialogue didn’t come directly from the Bible, though they were centered around the story line set forth in God’s Word). However, the first episode of A.D. The Bible Continues presents the story of the cross quite accurately, in a way that engages without detracting from the main message – what our Savior did for us.

It’s exciting to see Bible stories coming to life on public tv! This world DESPERATELY NEEDS the message of the gospel, and television can and should be able to provide another avenue for them to receive it. In the midst of all of the tv shows and movies to be found that are filled with bad language and negative content that send the wrong message, it’s really cool to see a series that draws attention to God’s Word!

Have you seen the first episode of A.D. The Bible Continues? Do you plan to tune in and watch the rest of the series?

Relentless Love

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Even though Easter’s over, the message of what Christ has done for us applies to and affects our daily lives! Check out this poem about our Savior’s work at the cross.

Relentless Love

The Son of God stood in man’s place,
Silently suffering human disgrace.
Falsely accused and condemned by self righteousness’ spite,
He was the One who would save us from sin’s merited plight.
The crown they presented the King consisted of thorns.
Wholly undeserved were the stripes which for our sake He bore.
Abused and tortured, nails pierced through
His hands and feet to make all things new,
For He esteemed nothing too great of a price
To rescue the perishing, to give them life.

The Son of God nailed to the tree –
God’s grace displayed for all to see.
Man’s sin weighed upon Him, yet they stood and scoffed
As He gave up His life for them there on that cross.
Criminals hung both left and right,
People taunting at the sight.
Despised and scorned, rejected, betrayed –
All part of the price He paid.
He bought back man at a high cost.
He gave His life to ransom the lost.

The Son of God knew the time had come
To lay down His life as a gift of love.
Darkness clouded over the sky.
“It is finished!” came the Savior’s cry.
He breathed His last, head bowed low.
The veil was torn so all would know
That there was nothing to stand between them and God any longer.
At the cross, His relentless love for us proved itself stronger
Than any sin we commit, than any wrong that we’ve done.
To save and redeem us, God sent His own Son.

Celebrate Jesus All Year Long

Celebrate Jesus All Year LongEaster is the time of year when we celebrate Jesus, and all that He’s accomplished for us, in coming to earth, dying at for our sins, and rising again. We rejoice in the fact that because of all that He’s done, we can become God’s children (John 1:12), and receive eternal life (John 3:16).

We celebrate Jesus at Easter, but sometimes, throughout the year, it’s easy to lose sight of His finished work, and all that it means for us. Perhaps we get so caught up in the busyness and cares of this life that we begin to lose sight of all that He’s done for us. Maybe our friends or families, or the people at our workplace, aren’t believers, and we’re constantly surrounded by those who don’t know or haven’t accepted the good news of the gospel. Whatever the reason, once Easter is finished, we often shift our focus away from the One whom it is all about, and whose sacrifice for us gives us something to rejoice over no matter what the season.

The good news of what Christ has done for us, however, is so much bigger than just one day of the year. The gospel is power of God for the saving of all who believe (Romans 1:16), which alone contains the ability to affect true life change. It is all because of Jesus that we, who have sinned, can approach an holy God, and be accepted by Him, regardless of our actions, and qualified to receive all of His blessings. It is through the love and grace that God, because of Jesus, can now show us, that our deepest longings can be truly satisfied. It is by believing in Him, and accepting what He has done for us, that we can someday spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.

Though Easter is over, our celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and all that He’s accomplished for us, doesn’t have to be. Hebrews 12:2 bids us to fix our eyes upon Him, without specifying a particular day or time of year. Let’s continue to rejoice in our Savior’s finished work all year long!

Happy Resurrection (Mon)day!

Linking this post up to Monday’s Musings at What Joy Is Mine

He Is Risen

He Is RisenJohn 20 speaks of Jesus’ resurrection, and Him appearing to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, as well as to His disciples. It proclaims the glad tidings that He is risen!

Early in the morning on first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb, and saw that the stone had been removed. She ran to tell Peter and John about this, then stood outside the tomb, weeping. She saw two angels who asked her why she was crying, to which she responded that Jesus had been taken away, and she didn’t know where they had put Him. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. She went and told the disciples the good news that she had seen Him.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself the question “What does Jesus’ resurrection mean for me, over 2,000 years after it occurred?” Here are a few of the ways that the resurrection affects our lives today:

  • Jesus died for our sins, and was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). At the cross, He took our sins upon Himself, paying the price for them, which was death (Romans 6:23). His resurrection  proclaims the fact that our sins have been completely and effectively dealt with, and that there remains nothing left for us to do but to receive the forgiveness that God offers to us.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14 proclaims that one died for all, and therefore all died. Because Jesus took our place at the cross, His death was our death. We have been raised with Him (Colossians 3:1). We were once dead in our transgressions, but we have been made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5)!
  • After Jesus rose again and ascended to heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God as our high priest (Hebrews 8:1). In the Old Testament, the high priest represented the people before God. In the same way, Christ represents us before God today. Our identity is found in Him. Because we are in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17), God views us as He views Jesus – completely loved, accepted, and cherished, with unshakable right standing before Him.

This Easter, may you rejoice in the knowledge that our Savior is risen. May God give you an even greater revelation of all that His death and resurrection mean for you today. Have a wonderful and Happy Resurrection Day!

Happy Resurrection Day!

Rest In His Finished Work

Rest In His Finished WorkJohn 19 is all about Jesus’ death. He gave His life for us at the cross, that we might be reconciled to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), and given eternal life (John 3:16).

In John 16:30, before He dismissed His spirit, Jesus utter the words “It is finished.”

 

 

The price was paid.

God’s anger against sin had been satisfied in full.

Our sins had been dealt with, and forgiveness provided for us.

The way was made open for us to become God’s children.

Eternal life was made ours, if we would believe in Him.

Jesus’ death put an end once and for all to mankind’s need to struggle and strive to gain acceptance before God. He bore in full the penalty for all of our wrongdoings, and God’s fiery judgement and wrath against them, and declared that it is finished. From that point on, salvation has been freely offered to us, belonging to all who will receive it.

When Jesus said that it was finished, He meant it. There’s nothing left for us to do, no price left for us to pay. Instead of living under the old covenant of the law, we now live under the new covenant of God’s amazing grace. Let’s rest in His finished work!

He Laid Down His Life For You

He Laid Down His Life For YouJohn 18 is all about Jesus being arrested and tried before the high priest and Pontius Pilate, as well as Peter’s denial of Him.

In John 18:4, Jesus asked the chief priests and Pharisees, who had come with Judas to arrest Him, who is was that they wanted. When they responded that they had come for Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus told them “I am he (John 18:5).” Upon hearing Him say these words, they drew back and fell to the ground. Again He asked them who they wanted, and they replied the same. Jesus told them that it was him that they were looking for, and to let the others go. When Peter chopped off one of the men’s ear, Jesus stopped any more such doings. He was then arrested, and taken before the high priest.

Jesus allowed Himself to be arrested and nailed to the cross out of His great love for us. He is the good shepherd, who laid down His life for us, His sheep (John 10:15). John 10:18 says that He laid it down of His own accord. He willingly gave His life for us, that we might be saved. Because of His amazing affection for us, He paid the price to redeem us. For our transgressions, He was pierced. He was chastened for our peace. We are healed by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5). He became poor that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). Through Him, we have been reconciled to our Heavenly Father
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Let’s praise our Savior for willingly laying down His life for us!

“I lay down my life for you. This is the moment when all will be made new . . . Arms stretched out upon this tree to show true love, to set you free.”

He Came To Serve

He Came To ServeIn John 13, we read the story of the last supper, during which Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. He got up from the meal, wrapped a towel around His waist, filled a basin, and began to wash the feet of His disciples.

Mark 10:45 says that Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. The Son of God took on the nature of a servant (Philippians 4:7). Throughout His ministry, we constantly see Jesus, the King of Kings, serving those around Him – healing the sick, showing God’s grace and love to sinners, and taking time to bless children (Matthew 19:13-15). He always made time for all who came to Him, ministering to their needs. He ultimately committed the greatest act of love and sacrifice at the cross, dying for our sins, that we might be made alive with Him (Ephesians 2:4-5).

John 13:3-4 says that Jesus, knowing that all things had been given into His hands, and that He had come from and was returning to God, got up and washed His disciples’ feet. He knew who He was, and His position before the Father, and He served out of that knowledge. In the same way, God doesn’t want us to serve to try to gain position before Him, for it is a thing that can never be earned. Rather, He wants us to serve out of the knowledge that we are His children – completely loved and accepted – showing to others the love that we have been given. Before we can truly serve others effectively, we must first understand the incredible love of our Heavenly Father, and be confident in our position before Him.

Jesus, the King of Kings, came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). He served others, knowing who He was in His Heavenly Father’s eyes. In the same way, let’s serve others, filled with the knowledge of who we are in Christ. Let’s demonstrating His love and grace to those around us!

A King Come To Save

A King Come To SaveOver the next week, we will take a look each day at a chapter of John’s account of the Easter story, beginning with the triumphal entry, and ending with Jesus’ resurrection. We will be reviewing the chapters as listed in Week 15 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan. Today will be John 12, Tuesday John 13, Wednesday John 18, Thursday John 19, and Friday John 20.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday – the Sunday prior to Resurrection Sunday – when we remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. John’s account of this story is listed in John 12:12-19. These verses state that upon hearing that Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem, the crowds came to meet Him, waving palm branches, shouting “hosanna,” and proclaiming Him the king of Israel. Jesus found a young donkey which He rode on, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, which speaks of the king of Zion coming seated on a donkey’s colt.

The crowds who greeted Jesus as He entered Jerusalem called Him king. He was their king, but not in the way that they thought. Instead of becoming a prominent political figure who would liberating them from Roman rule, the Son of God – the true King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15) – came to save all who would believe in Him by giving His life for them at the cross. He came to redeem us, paying the price for our wrongdoings. He came that we, through Him, might be reconciled to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), and given true freedom in Him.

Jesus, the King of Kings, laid down His life for you, so that you could enter into relationship with God – with you as His child, and Him as your Heavenly Father. Though equal to God in His very nature, He was made in the likeness of man, and gave His life for us at the cross (Philippians 2:6-8). What an honor that the true king, the Son of God, would do such a thing for each and every one of us!

All That He Has Done

All That He Has DoneEaster is the time when we celebrate Jesus, and all that He has done for us. We know that He came to earth, died, and rose again, but how could something that happened over 2,000 years ago affect our lives today? What does the Easter story really mean?

When we begin to understand all that Jesus accomplished for us through His death and resurrection, and all that they mean for us today, the Easter season takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes more than just a holiday, but rather a time to remember the greatest act of love and sacrifice ever to take place. It becomes a time of rejoicing in God’s plan of salvation. It becomes a time to remember our Savior, and give thanks to Him.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will take a closer look at what Christ has accomplished for us, and how His death and resurrection still affect our lives today. Come join us as we discover all that He has done!

“You lived. You died. You rose again on high. You opened a way for the world to live again. Hallelujah for all you’ve done!”