Whenever the Easter season, or for those who are ‘religiously’ correct, “the time that is told of the Resurrection” comes around, television stations and the like, show stories like The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Easter Story, The Story of Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, and others. Some churches even put on plays depicting the life of Jesus. And while it may be good as far as storytelling goes, what we need to understand is that the life of Jesus, is so much more than a story or a play. And it is something that should be told not just around March or April, but every season of the year.
The real story of Easter, lives on in the personhood of Jesus Christ. As all these stories end, they tell you that Jesus was crucified, BUT, He rose again. So “Easter, the Resurrection” lives on. That is why I believe that to show television programs and movies, and plays, only at this time of year, depicts and sends the wrong message.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning the shows at all to a degree. The problem that I have is that they are stories. Shown as such. Made to highlight certain things, made to emphasize and to minimize other things, (often what the director deems as not important) and they are made to stir up emotions. And while they are based on real life and what might have really happened, often times the stories are embellished and over told. The “director” adds some stuff to it and takes some stuff away. And since this is the story of Jesus, what they are doing is adding and taking away from The Word. (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word became flesh. Jesus Christ). And there is a danger in that because God said, ‘Neither add nor take away from this book.’ (The Bible, His Word). But the people who do the shows and direct the plays, when they do it for emphasis of a particular subject, they end up adding and taking away. So you might say, what’s the big deal? People are getting saved, they’re learning about Jesus… your point is.. what?
Yes, people may actually come to the cross, they may actually accept Jesus and the work that He did, they may even learn something about Jesus, but some are operating based on their emotions. It is not the faith that God requires that we have, that moves them, it’s their emotions. It is how the strands on the violin are played before their eyes that bring them to want to say yes. And in a few short months if you would go to these very same people, their emotional high is gone and so is their relationship with Jesus until the next time Easter season rolls around. And that’s the danger.
The Story of Jesus, the Easter Story is real life. People need to know that. It’s not just a story. It’s not a fairy tale and it’s not simply pages in a book. It’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With real “characters”, for lack of a better word, with real life issues and circumstances, starring a real person, Jesus Christ, both man and God, who went to a real cross, really died and really came back to life.
The Greatest Story Ever Told, is not just a story. And if we see it as a story we will tend to see it as a part of a book. And as with all books, we can easily scan over or flip the pages of the parts that we don’t like. We can close our eyes to the things that we don’t want to see. We can look past some stuff that we don’t agree with. And there’s a danger to all of this, because if we skip past some things, we will miss out on others. And when we start to look for miracles in our life, they won’t manifest because we haven’t understood the instructions. The Word, on receiving the miracle. Which you can only receive by faith. Not by emotion.
The Passion of the Christ is not just a movie, it’s not just a story, it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. His life. The beating He took for real. And if we receive it as such, we will come to truly know, understand and receive all that He did as real. And live our own lives based on what He did. We will be reminded of Isaiah, “He was beaten for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.” When we receive Jesus as more than a story, we will confess His Word over our bodies, especially when they start acting outside of the Word, contrary to what we know Jesus did for us when He went to the cross and actually believe that we are healed.
When we really know that The Easter Story is more than a play, we will live our lives on purpose, knowing that is what He went to the cross to give us. Meaning and purpose. A life and that more abundantly. If we remember the life of Jesus and not just take it as story, when we see the cross, any cross, it will actually have meaning to us. It will have significance. We’ll remember that Jesus Christ really carried a cross, His cross, and so must we. Because we all have our crosses to bear.
The Easter Story is more than a story because stories end. But life goes on. Jesus is alive!
The Story of Jesus is more than a story. It’s a script that is still being written, about a real God, Who still saves, Who still reigns, Who still heals, Who still performs miracles.
The Greatest Story Ever Told is YET being written.
And we need to put our faith in the One that is doing the writing, for real.