Brittany Kulick is the Director of Marketing and Social Media for the Denison Forum. She attended an event with the creators of “The Bible” mini series and I asked her if she would write this Good Friday blog. Enjoy this “inside look” at the the show, and the new book about the miniseries. Happy Easter…Janet D.
The Denison Forum’s Cultural Commentary often talks about the decline of morality on television, I think back to one of my favorite shows growing up, Touched by an Angel. During its run, the show was one of CBS’ highest-rated series. My parents had no concerns regarding subject matter, and the show usually climaxed with these words from Monica: “I am an angel sent by God to tell you that he loves you.” This show was formative in my faith as a child, but I had no idea that Roma Downey, the actress that portrayed Monica, would come back onto my radar as co-producer of ‘The Bible” mini-series with her husband, Mark Burnett.
I was blessed to be invited to a book signing, where the producers signed copies of their new book, A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel Based on the Epic TV Miniseries “The Bible.“ I loved learning more about their motive for the series. They shared that they “wanted to make a series that would glorify God… It began with a prayer in our hearts. ” God has honored Mark and Roma’s efforts—the series was the number one rated show on tv last Sunday night, has reached over 68 million viewers since its premiere, and a recent Barna study shows that more than one in four non-Christians have watched “The Bible”. From that same group of non-Christians, 67% report learning something new about the Bible. In biblical times, God used a burning bush, a pillar of fire and countless other miraculous ways to talk to humans. Today, He’s using a tv show!
Through the filming, Mark and Roma realized that “no matter how many thousands of years ago… the struggles and the hopes and longings and fears that everybody had are the same that we have today. God loved us so much that even though we continue to mess up, He never abandoned us…. He loved us so much that He sent Jesus for us, and that it’s the story of redemption and hope. If you’ve been enjoying the series so far, wait until next week when Jesus turns up!”
My favorite part of the evening, were the stories they shared from their time on set. Some may brush off their words as ‘coincidence’, but I believe that God moves in mighty ways, and He makes Himself known when he is being sought.
Roma shared about the scene when “Nicodemus steals away to meet Jesus, he is curious about Jesus. He comes down onto the set and it was a very still night in the Moroccan desert. There was not a breath of air and the two actors were sitting around a campfire, and Nicodemus, curious about Jesus said, ‘How would I know? How would I have this feeling? Is it available to me?’ and Jesus says ‘The Kingdom of God is within you. Spirit is like the wind, and it blows where it wishes. You don’t know where it comes from or where it goes to.’ And as if on cue, the wind picked up and blew through the set, and everybody that was gathered around the camera could feel it. It was… like a supernatural wind coming off the desert. We really felt like the Holy Spirit showed up and said here I am.”
Among the many employed as crew members by ‘The Bible’, was one whose job title, ‘snake wrangler,’ meant that he was the one responsible for clearing Cobras, Vipers and scorpions from the set each day. Mark mentioned that during the months of filming only a handful of snakes had been cleared, but on the day that they were to film the crucifixion, the snake wrangler called Roma over and “revealed to her a huge bag writhing on the side of the road. He had cleared 48 snakes from the rocks beneath the cross. If that’s not symbolic… What is?”
On this Good Friday, is the Enemy trying to keep you from the cross? Are there fears or sins or doubts that keep you from going to Jesus? Today, we remember that God is the ultimate ‘snake wrangler’ and celebrate the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 when the offspring of Eve crushed the serpent’s head. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, our sin no longer stands between us and God. We can come as we are to the cross because Jesus died to clear the path.
On this Friday before Easter Sunday, we are in a time of waiting. I am grateful to be a part of a faith where the story doesn’t stop there. Sunday is coming… Just wait ’til Jesus shows up!
The pictures are used with the permission of James Edward.
Find him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jamesedwardphotography.