Did any of you catch the television production a couple of weeks ago on Fox, The Passion? It was live event that narrated the life and death of Christ through popular music and the contemporary portrayal of Jesus and His followers. As Easter approached I was excited to see the media presenting the story of sweet Jesus and His life changing gift to the world.
I watched it with my family on March 20th as it aired. Personally, I thought it was great. The presentation integrated popular music that many people, churched and un-churched, are familiar with. It was a great opportunity to talk with my kids and share the emotions as the re-telling of redemption story came to life. When it was all over I scrolled through social media to get an idea of what the rest of the world thought. The results were heart breaking... but not from those who are not believers in Christ. I was most saddened at what I saw from those who are followers of Christ- not particularly personal friends, just popular and trending figures.
Tweets and posts ranged from, "Don't waste your time", to "Hollywood's version of the gospel"... and it went on from there about the questionable theology and secular music when so much "good christian music is out there."
Lean in a little ya'll. Let me tell you a secret you are missing with this particular presentation of the death and resurrection of my Jesus. Ready?
YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT.
Here's the point: Millions of people were exposed to the story that night. Thousands and thousands of people began talking about the events that unfolded as the sun rose to reveal an empty tomb that beautiful Easter morning.
There were truly points of embellishment. There were truly points where music and lyrics were forced into position. Those forced entries and embellishments caused Christ followers to raise eyebrows and give the actors the ol' side-eye. But the very next day I encountered questions and conversation with a new friend that recently disclosed to me that she had never even believed that God was real.
People are talking. People are catching a glimpse of Jesus- a small, filtered, look into the life of the Son of God. That night could have been spent watching the latest DVR of the Walking Dead but instead, FOX gave a viable alternative that may have been, for many, a first time introduction to Jesus as a living and breathing man. A man who smiled and laughed. A man who had best friends. A man who was mistreated and truly felt discrimination. A man who cried. A man who wasn't completely man, but lived and died that way. And they met him in the comfort of their own living rooms. I get goosies as I even think about it!!
My picture of Christ is an unrelenting Father in a constant chase to apprehend His kids as we focus on everything else. He needs our attention before He can reveal His glory. He needs us to look Him in the face before He can show us the real version of who He is. Without an introduction to Him, he is just another character in a far away story. How many times do we give the thumbs-down to introductions and filtered glimpses of the cross simply because we have already had that introduction and know the story after years of Bible Studies and hours of "quiet time"? We can't go around telling people not to waste their time on anything, ANYTHING that points them to Jesus, if it is truly pointing them to Jesus. How can we expect people to know the reality of Jesus when they have never encountered Him? And how will they encounter Him if we look down our noses, directing them AWAY from those encounter opportunities as they come?
Time is just too short. God is just too good. And, truthfully, we are just not that righteous. But thank God we are loved and forgiven because of His passion for us.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.