Last night, my family sat around the television as a family. It seems a rare opportunity, anymore, for us to really sit together as a family to watch the same program, but this was important.
As many people know, a major television event came to the History Channel last night, and in case you didn’t know, I’m telling you now, because you have time still to catch the rest of the miniseries.
I’ll hush for a few minutes and let you watch this trailer…
It’s powerful. It really is, to see stories you see so many times on paper, brought to a really, incredibly visual medium. This five-week miniseries has a 2 hour long episode each week, which is really like making the stories of the Bible into 5 movies.
It’s been produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, a husband and wife duo that are household names, at least in my family. Come on, who doesn’t love a little Survivor every now and then? The final episodes set to air are on Easter Sunday… featuring the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Before I became a mother, I thought I understood the Bible. I thought the stories in the Bible resonated with me. I could understand how hard it was for Abraham to know God was asking him to sacrifice Isaac, and I understood how hard it was for Moses’ mother to put him in that basket, and even how hard it was for Pharaoh’s wife when he was gone. I knew, logically, the emotions these people must have felt, Abraham putting his trust in God, and everyone with their stories.
But it wasn’t until I had Zach that I emotionally understood the full grasp of these Biblical stories.
It wasn’t until I had my son Zach, and re-read the story of Abraham that I questioned if I had the faith to give my son as a sacrifice to God. Sure, I can say “God, I’m giving you my son, do your will with him,” and promise to teach him the Word. But could I do what Abraham did? Could I tie my son to that rock, lift my dagger in the air, knowing that if God didn’t send that lamb, my son would have to take his place?
I don’t know. Just thinking of it makes me well up with tears. Just feeling that story tug at my heart makes me feel weak and powerless.
But that isn’t what God intended. I believe that story is an amazing story that really helps us see the story of the Lamb of God, Jesus. Think about it… without him, we are destined to pay for the sins we’ve committed, and the sins that have been a part of our lives since the fall, alllllllllll the way back to the very first people. Without that, there’d be no sacrificial lamb. There would be nothing to take the place of that blood sacrifice. Every parent would essentially know that their child’s blood had to be spilled to pay that price, that on judgement day, they’d not have a pardon. But Jesus died. And if we accept that, if we ask him into our hearts, HE becomes that sacrifice. HE takes over for our sin. HE is that lamb that shows up, to take our place so we don’t have to. As a daughter, it makes me want to hug my mother, and say “Thank you for teaching me about God’s Word, so I could know, and understand how Jesus took MY place on that Cross.” As a mother, it is a personal challenge to me to teach my son about what Jesus did for us, how he DIED for us, to become that Lamb.
You all know that lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Christina Perri songs. I shared one on Valentine’s day, when I talked about how I felt that I had loved Zach for so much longer than just his lifetime, that I waited for him, every moment, waiting for that time when he would finally be mine, and that my love for him will never, ever fade.
But there’s another song that really resonates with me, one line from a song, specifically, called Arms. Christina, in that song, is talking about how she didn’t ever expect for this person to be a part of her life so much, but that she truly feels that this person is TRYING to reach her. And at one part she says the following:
I can’t look at a picture of Jesus on the cross, arms outstretched, without feeling this exact sentiment echoed through my mind.
God is wrapping his arms around us. CLEARLY.
Her line after the first chorus goes something like this:
“How many times will you let me change my mind and turn around? I can’t decide if I’ll let you save my life or if I’ll drown. I hope that you see right through my walls. I hope that you’ll catch me, because I’m already falling. I’ll never let our love get so close. You put your arms around me and I’m home.”
I feel like, even if Christina is talking about a lover here (and I don’t know if she is or not), this so resonates with how I feel about my walk with God. I feel like I run away… and come back. And run away… and come back. And I feel like, every single time, God is there to catch me. He’s right there. He could let me drown. Easily, he could just say “Forget it, babe. I’m done.” But he doesn’t. He’s consistently there to save me, to reach his hands out and say “Come here, child. Come here. Come home.”
Even when I try to never let him in, He is RIGHT THERE.
There’s this saying I’ve heard for ages. It says, “If you feel distant from God… who moved? Was it him, or was it YOU?” And that’s true. God is right there. If there’s distance, it’s because I’ve put it there.
I’ve strayed a lot from what I intended to say, but sometimes, in a post, I just have to go with what my heart is saying, rather than what my outline of my post says.
Here’s how I’m going to wrap this up:
1. God isn’t putting distance between you and He. He’s right there. He’s staying right there. He’s willing to put his arms around you… but you have to ACCEPT that, ACCEPT Him, and stop running away. (I’m speaking to myself on this one. If it happens to strike a chord with you, that’s a TOTAL bonus).
2. If you want a free 8×10 printable version of the quote/image I put above, you can download it from my 4shared account here. With it being an 8×10, it’s perfectly sized for framing if you’re wanting to keep it where you can easily remember.
3. WATCH The Bible Miniseries on History Channel, Sunday nights at 8pm Eastern Time. It is so worth your time. Please watch it. If you missed last night’s first two episodes (The Beginning and The Exodus), they are being rebroadcast TONIGHT on Lifetime and again on WEDNESDAY night on The History Channel. I urge you to check local listings to find the times for your area’s showing. Invite friends and family, and make it an event. Share it with people who may not know the Word of God, as well as those who do. It is an incredibly EXCITING film. I will warn that it is considered PG-13 viewing and parents should be cautioned accordingly.
4. Unable to watch it on Television? The History Channel will have DVDs of the series available on April 2nd.
5. Not sure about Roma Downey and Mark Burnett? Here’s a list of advisors to the project: Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family, Sam Rodriguez, Paul Eshleman, Bobby Gruenewald, Brad Lomenick, Leith Anderson, Frank Wright, Tom Peterson, Geoff Tunnicliffe, Gabe Lyons, Luis Palau, George Wood, Craig Groeschel, Denny Rydberg, and Andrew Benton. These are people literally from a wide range of denominations, backgrounds, and Christian faith perspectives.
It’s life changing, guys. It really is. Did you tune in last night? Share what you thought below! Planning to tune in? Let me know!