The Bible Miniseries: Week 3

The elevation had taken its toll on my 20 year old heart. I had been staring at nothing but stones so far. And honestly, all the symbolic, sentimental stuff about climbing mountains was too heavy to carry to the summit of this gigantic rock in Fort Collins, Colorado. Spring Break has come, and with it, my first journey to the Centennial State. I was not prepared for this experience the way I wish I would have been. My knowledge of climbing was quite limited. And frankly, I was tired.

I wondered…

How did Jesus and the people in the Bible do this all the time?

I realize that most of the intricate details in the Bible are often overlooked in light of what else is happening. I’ve learned that overlooking the details often isolates me away from any place where I can relate to what is happening on the pages I’m reading or those being read to me on any Sunday morning.

But when I turned on my TV to watch the third installment of The Bible Miniseries on the History Channel, I was unable to ignore the details. I realized that these men and women were not as different from me as I may have thought. In the Bible, men who had to walk up mountains all the time did run out of breath half-way up. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

In fact, the characters of the scriptures experienced lives like those we live everyday. And half-way up their mountains, whether literal or figurative, they, too, got tired and didn’t want to keep climbing.

These moments were well demonstrated in Pt. 3 of The Bible. One is made vividly aware of the intense fear that overcomes Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego as they’re thrown in the furnace to burn to death. The moment is thick with raw tension as Daniel is thrown into the lion’s den and awaits his death. Nothing more than insults can be understood as the crowds yell and scream at Mary because of her pregnancy happening before her wedding.

The half-way point in the lives of these characters comes to life. The details remind me of my own climb up the mountain of my life.

Have we all not felt the need to stop half-way through some sort of situation where we thought God had forgotten that we were not prepared for such a journey into such dangerous situations?

Would it not have been more convenient for Jesus to show up and turn the oil used in the furnace to wine? I bet Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego would have appreciated the taste of Cabernet rather than the smell of the ropes on their hands burning.

I’m almost positive Daniel would love for God to answer his prayer the way he saw fit rather than allowing him to smell the breath of hungry lions with no escape.

And what about Mary? I don’t think she’d object in the meeting when God announced, in convenient detail, that Jesus would show up on the scene much like Adam did, no pregnancy or threat of being stoned to death and left by her fiance.

Instead, Jesus chooses to join our three friends in their furnace. He chooses to put his hand over the mouths of the very lions that he created to devour meat. He chooses to show up in Mary’s womb rather than her dining room when she tells Joseph that she’s pregnant in the middle of planning a wedding.

As soon as you get your copy of The Bible Miniseries on DVD or Blu-ray (if you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, visit http://www.fishflix.com/the-bible.html), I hope you see your own story being told as these simple people are enduring the most scandalous of circumstances, none without the intricate details we seem to overlook so often.

The last part of The Bible Part 3 is the long awaited arrival of Jesus. Long awaited by the audience watching the show, and those in the story almost burning to death in the furnace. The episode consistently points to the same truth, that in the middle of climbing up any mountain, Jesus will show up. He won’t be a second late or early, but he will show up right on time.

I finally caught my breath, kept trekking, and arrived at the peak of the mountain I was climbing in Colorado. On the top of that mountain, I couldn’t hear anything but the sound of silence.What I saw next took away the very breath I had just regained. The view. I saw everything differently when I was thousands of feet above it. I looked back at the trail I had almost given up on half-way up and realized how fortunate I was to not turn around and chase convenience and an activity that made sense. The excuses I had made on the way up were back where I left them.

I can picture Mary thinking the same thing about all those curses she received from people around her when she saw little baby Jesus’ eyes for the very first time.

I imagine our three Jewish friends walking with a much more weighty swagger as they left the furnace.

I wish I could see the look on each person’s face as Daniel came out of the lion’s den without a scratch.

…and of course, I’m sure Jesus looked back on his 40 day journey in the desert much differently after he saw the look on Peter’s face when way too many fish had made their way into his boat.

These are all magnificent details you can’t miss when you watch Pt. 3 of The Bible Miniseries. Remember, details are The Story as well.

You’ll think the same thing as you get a hold of The Bible Miniseries and climb the mountain for yourself. And trust me, the view is beautiful; breathtaking, even.

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