Two years ago, the History Channel brought us The Bible, the miniseries that started in Genesis and went through Jesus' death, ending with words from Revelation. Last year, parts of that miniseries, including unused footage, was edited together into the feature film Son of God. Earlier tonight, on Resurrection Sunday, NBC premiered the highly anticipated sequel series A.D. The Bible Continues.with the first episode "The Tomb is Open".
This episode opens up with Pilate sentencing Jesus to death, Peter denying him, and Christ being crucified on the cross. This was done very well. Although they changed the entire cast from The Bible to A.D., the story remains the same and if you've seen either The Bible OR Son of God, or even if you haven't seen either, it's a very easy story to jump into.
The thing that intrigued me the most about this episode was the politics involved. Something I never think about is all of the political activity that must have occurred due to Jesus... I mean, in this episode, we see Pilate and his wife talk multiple times about if it was right to have Jesus crucified at all! We also see Pilate struggle at the end with what Jesus meant by "Truth", which is something that I liked a lot because of going through The Truth Project twice over the past seven/eight years in which that passage of Scripture is the main over-arching theme.
We also see a lot of political talk among the Jews as well, specifically Caiaphas and Joseph of Arimathea. Caiaphas obviously was the one leading the charge against Jesus as his power was threatened, yet we see Joseph often defend Christ, even standing up to the High Priest to do so! Based on Scripture, all we know about Joseph is that he was a member of the Sanhedrin and gave Jesus his own personal tomb. One thing that was sad to me was that we did not see Nicodemus at all in this episode, and since this is the last time in Scripture we hear of him (when he and Joseph bury Jesus), it's doubtful we'll end up seeing him in A.D. at all!
This being said I really enjoyed what they did with Joseph as well as Pilate in this episode. It was very well done.
Peter was also very well done. I've heard the phrase said once or twice, "we're all Peter", and that couldn't be more spot on! At times in are life we're all like Peter, either we deny or avoid the topic of Jesus or we don't always believe that He'll do what He said He would, either way this episode shows a very human, very flawed Peter, and seeing as how he's revered in Catholicism, I think this is a really good thing!
Now, I don't want to and I'm not going to go into why Catholicism and Christianity are two different things and are not the same, they're not but I'm not going to go into detail here, but I AM going to talk about what I didn't like about this episode, specifically that it took so much influence (as The Bible and Son of God also did...) from the Catholic Church, mainly how they try and make Mary (Jesus' mother) more important than she was. Certainly she was at the cross and I have no issue with that at all, but I do hope she doesn't appear again because in Scripture (at least to my knowledge, correct me if I'm wrong) she does not.
Also, I have to talk about this briefly just to get it out, is John supposed to be black? I'm not being racist or anything like that, but I know with The Bible, there was a lot of outcry about every character being played by a white British actor. In A.D. however, they fix that problem by making Jesus be played by an Argentinian and John be played by someone of African decent. The funny thing is, is that most people just didn't want these characters to be played by white people, so many said that they should be played by those of Jewish heritage, yet with A.D.'s first episode now out, I haven't heard or seen anything about people wanting the actors to be Jewish... Must be okay now because minority actors are playing these characters. Either way, it is what it is and I'm very happy with who they have playing both Jesus and John but I just think it's interesting comparing how people responded during the premiere of The Bible to now people responding during the premiere of A.D..
The ending made me very happy too! I have to say, it was very cool to see the angel come down from Heaven to remove the stone for His Lord to walk out. The special effects done on the angel making the background light look like wings was very creative and really neat to see!
Overall, I'm very happy with the first episode of A.D. The Bible Continues, and I cannot wait to watch the second episode, "The Body is Gone", next week on NBC. It's so encouraging that this series premiered on
Rating: A(D) - see what I did there?