Killing Jesus by National Geographic Channel
Killing Jesus. That’s a pretty heavy sentence in and of itself. And when it describes a television event, it holds a lot of description. No soft, fuzzy bunnies or bright, colorful eggs here. This is the reality of why we celebrate Easter and when you sit down to watch, you might do so with a little trepidation. How graphic will it be? What will they include? More importantly, will they recognize Christ as our Lord and Savior? At least these are the questions that rattled through my mind before I sat down to watch.
The first thing that caught me about this show was the historical context. I shouldn’t really be surprised at this, but it was pleasant to see them covering the details of Rome and its relationship with Jerusalem. Also seen in detail was Herod. His dreams played a major role in the opening and it was really nice to see some of this covered. I personally enjoyed that there was no traditional baby in a manger right after being born scene. By the time the wise men show up in this one, Jesus is crawling and grabbing for things. From what I’ve heard (I’m no scholar in this area by the way) this is probably a more likely scenario than what we see at Christmas time.
All in all, this was an interesting journey through an oft-told tale. I was impressed with how they shared various viewpoints in the story and it was interesting to see some of Jesus with his family. This is usually ignored for the ‘greater’ stories in the Bible, so it was nice to see some of the new perspectives of this man and his ministry.
Now though, I missed quite a few things. Not like I got up and went to the kitchen and missed it. I mean at the end of the tale, I personally felt that several chances for fascinating tales from the Bible were missed. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out one thing that was key to Killing Jesus and this telling of Christ’s sacrifice. They left out the supernatural. Throughout the story, Jesus was approached mainly as a historical figure without any of the miracles he performed. Now I understand why they’d take this approach and I’m certain that it appealed to a major portion of the non-Christian audience out there. As a whole, Christ’s life was well handled and it was treated with great respect. As I mentioned, you can get some perspectives you don’t normally see. But if you’re looking for the miracles and, well, the GOD portion of the story to shine through, you won’t find a lot of it here.
The ending was profound for me. As a believer, I know that Christ’s body was not in the grave and never found because he rose from that grave. He conquered death and he IS alive now. But the makers of Killing Jesus didn’t go there. Instead, Kelsey Grammar’s fabulous voice explains that for unknown reasons, the grave was empty and his body never found. He also goes on to give the numbers of people who still follow Christ even today. I was not in the least offended by this. In fact, I had a little thrill of delight. It felt like I know a secret and I wanted to shout it to the world. My God is alive!
So in the end, I enjoyed this program. It opened some big discussions in my house and some thought provoking debate occurred as a result. It won’t be THE big Easter event in our house every holiday season, however I wouldn’t turn down watching it again.
I was given an advanced copy of this program to review. Thank you Lori!!!