This is another thing I like to post every Easter: Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, in The Greatest Story Ever Told. The emotional impact of this scene speaks for itself.
Why did Jesus do miraculous works? So that they would be a witness to whom and what He is. We have the Scriptures, we have the works, we have eyewitness testimony, and we have the Holy Spirit: Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior.
And here is where the Bible parts company with pious pagan fictions: John 11: 39:
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
This kind of realism would not enter fiction for centuries yet to come.
Imagine deepest sorrow turned to highest joy–can you? Imagine the worst wrong you ever saw, suddenly put right. Can you? Have you ever seen something that really was too good to be true, impossibly good–and yet there it was, before your eyes?
The Bible tells us Mary followed Jesus, as a disciple, after he cast seven devils out of her: so she already knew a thing or two about horror, pain, and misery.
As we enter the weekend set aside to celebrate Jesus Christ, His atoning death on the cross and then His resurrection, we might want to spare a prayer for the spiritually impoverished. They may be rich and famous, basking in the glow of fawning publicity: but they are poorer than a beggar. Like, for instance, world-renowned Scientist, Stephen Hawking.
His argument goes: we humans are bad, bad, bad and that’s our nature–we’re with you there, dude; only we call it Original Sin–so what we must have, if we’re to survive, is an all-powerful world government to rein us in.
Uh-huh. And who’s gonna be in the world government? More of them bad, bad humans! Only now they’ll be in a state of perpetual temptation by unrestrained power over others. Or as our country’s founders put it, the bigger the government, the bigger its abuses.
If there was ever a time we needed to stand up for Jesus, that time is now. Stand up for Him, and He will stand up for us. As the hymn says, truly, “the arm of flesh will fail us.” But Christ will not.
Sung by the students from Fountainview Academy on their European tour.
Remember this? Noozies got all bent out of shape because a Harlem church congregation didn’t go for heresy in the pulpit. Yeahbut, yeahbut! I was Democrat preaching! Don’t these miserable peasants know that’s better than the Bible?
In The Robe (1953), Richard Burton played the Roman officer in charge of crucifying Jesus Christ; and he wins Christ’s robe with a roll of the dice. Victor Mature is the slave who takes the robe away from him.
We do have to be careful about using “Bible movies” to teach us the truth that is in the Bible; but this scene from The Robe packs a wallop, emotionally–and I’m pretty sure we need that.
I first heard this hymn as background music in a Civil War documentary, fell in love with it, and had to wait 20 years or so before I found out the title–Jesus Saves. Here it is, as it was sung at the United Reformed Churches’ 2012 Synod at Nyack College, New York; and that’s the gorgeous Hudson River in the background.