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Monday, April 1, 2013

Let's Keep It Biblical


During the Easter season, I’ve seen several representations of Jesus’ passion and resurrection. A common thread has been how unbiblical they were. I saw events added, subtracted, and invented. Some of the productions were made to please “everyone,” the theology not clear. Some of the stories were not at all as the Bible teaches them.

I question why they thought they needed to change the Greatest Story of All Time.

The Bible teaches that God’s Word is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Jesus told His followers to Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (John 5:39).

Luke said about the Berean Christians, These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).

All through the Bible, we are urged to be faithful to the Word, For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelation 22:18).

Jesus Himself prophesied about the Scriptures being fulfilled in His life. He told the disciples exactly what would happen in the last week of His life. Jesus often referred His followers to the Scriptures.

These facts are in the Bible:
  • Judas’ betrayal, and later, his death
  • The cutting off and healing of Malchus’ ear
  • The false trial of Christ
  • Pilate’s words and his wife’s words
  • Jesus’ few words at the trial
  • The crucifixion
  • The conversion of the thief on the cross
  • The centurion’s statement
  • Jesus’ burial by Joseph of Arimathea
  • The Roman soldiers guarding the tomb
  • The angels at the open tomb
  • The women telling the disciples
  • Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene
  • Jesus’ appearance to the disciples
  • Jesus’ appearance to Thomas eight days later
  • Jesus joining the two men on the road to Emmaus


I watched many of the above parts of the biblical story misrepresented this Easter season.

Consider these Bible statements, all direct quotations:
  • Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude (Luke 22:3-6).
  • And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (Matthew 26:51-54)
  • When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it (Matthew 27:24).
  • And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:41-43).
  • And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man (Luke 23:46-47). Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54).
  • Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words (Luke 24:1-8).
  • Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master (John 20:16).
  • And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:30-32). 


Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against using imagination. I am against telling the Bible stories wrong. If Peter, Judas, or Jesus speaks, shouldn’t it be exactly as he said it? If Mary says, “Master” in the Bible, shouldn’t that be what she says in our Easter play? If the centurion and the other Roman soldiers recognize Jesus as God, shouldn’t that be what is said in the representation of Jesus’ passion? We have those words, faithfully preserved by God. Why shouldn’t we use the exact words? They have power, because they are Scripture.

When Jesus heals Malchus’ ear, I think the scene should be authentic. A popular TV series showed just a little bit of his ear cut off. Three of the gospels mention the whole ear being off. (An example. I don’t think I’d include it in an Easter play, myself.)

Peter was the first person to enter the open tomb. The women were afraid because of the angels, then they ran away and told the disciples that Jesus had risen. John and Peter ran to the tomb, but Peter entered first. I watched a representation that showed Mary Magdalene inside the tomb before Peter, talking to the Lord, Who was outside in the doorway. The dialogue between them was not at all what it is in Scripture.

Are these things important?

Can’t we use some artistic license?

I personally believe there are many ways you could stage a production that represents Truth. Read all the gospels. Get your facts straight. Then, stage it so as to represent what is true. Then, anyone watching your production will see biblical truth. Use God’s Word when the characters speak. Don’t just make up scenarios that didn’t happen.

Go ahead and be creative. But, let’s keep it biblical!

6 comments:

  1. Amen! This is so important, we must keep the truth.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lauren. God bless you!

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  2. Yo creo que todo debe de ser como está escrito como tu lo has dicho, no debemos cambiar nada. Lo que la Biblia nos cuenta es un suceso precioso que ha muchos les cuesta admitir, Jesús vino al mundo para mostrarnos el amor de Dios y como obtener la salvación espiritual con el simple hecho de creer en El.
    Su amor es un amor perfecto. Gloria a Dios.
    Bendiciones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tere. Bendiciones a tí.

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