The Orange Leader
“The Bible” has been an epic success for The History channel airing on Sunday nights for five episodes. It was viewed by more than 10 million fans a week and captured the interest—as one might expect—of many Christians. According to Mark Burnett, writer of the script, he expected that it might create a new interest (perhaps as many as “a billion” new readers) of the Bible itself. I sincerely hope this comes true.
I was as interested as most others, hoping it would be a great success, but eventually it did not hold my attention especially when it varied so drastically from the actual Bible stores it was designed to tell. I have not heard from a large number of viewers that would give me an accurate assessment of how they responded to the series. The comments by a comedian, who has a nightly TV show, captured my attention. Perhaps, because he is a comedian, we could cut him a little slack but if we take him at his word it casts him into a different mold.
Steven Colbert said: “It does not project holiness when you cannot look at him (I.e., Jesus) without taking the Lord’s name in vain,” he claimed. “We need a Jesus who suffers like us—with a spare tire, receding hairline and who only came back on Easter because he heard there was chocolate.” The Jesus Colbert so lightheartedly mocks did suffer like us but without the receding hairline and a budging waistline or any of the other likely human traits.
Jesus was a real man. At the same time he was the Son of God. He called himself “the son of man.” As the son of man he came to suffer, bleed and die for our redemption, our salvation from the judgment of sin. “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed,” says Isaiah 53. He did not come back on Easter “because he heard there was chocolate,.” No. “Who [Jesus] was delivered up because of our offenses, and [Jesus] was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25). “For He [God] made him [Jesus] WHO KNEW NO SIN TO BE SIN FOR US, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the real reason for Easter.