Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Chosen

Well, I pray you had a wonderful Easter celebration with your church, family, and friends. I did. Now for a week of egg salad sandwiches, am I right? Something else happened this past Sunday that you may not be aware of. Easter Sunday was the premier of Season 2 of “The Chosen.” The Chosen is the first multi-season TV series about the life of Christ, and it is incredible! Season 1 has been viewed over 95 million times! What makes this series so different is that it portrays Jesus “through the eyes of those who met Him.

One comment I hear repeatedly from those who have watched it is, “Jesus is so ‘real,’ ‘so human,’ ‘so relatable.’” I believe this was one of Dallas Jenkins’ (the creator of the series) goal, and he does it very effectively.

Although, Jenkins’ portrayal of Jesus as relatable is so effective because Jesus was relatable. He still is. He is also 100% divine and 100% human. John clearly states in his gospel, “[Jesus] became human and made his home among us” (John 1:14). The reality is, if you lived in the first century and walked by Jesus one day on the road to Capernaum, you wouldn’t even know He was the Messiah. There would be nothing which gave that away. Jesus looked like any other thirty-year-old Jewish male from Galilee. The prophet Isaiah describes Him (the Messiah) this way, “My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him” (Isaiah 53:2).

Jesus could very easily get lost in a crowd. In fact, remember when Jesus preached in the synagogue in Jerusalem? Afterward, the crowd was so angry at Him, Luke tells us, “Jumping up, they mobbed him and forced him to the edge of the hill on which the town was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way” (Luke 4:29-30). He passed right through the crowd. Now, that could have been a supernatural incident, or it could have been that, in the ensuing chaos, He simply did not stick out. Surely, amidst the growing dust cloud kicked up by dozens of sandals, churning up the dry dirt which made up the streets of Nazareth, Jesus was just able to slip away. Look, I enjoy the actor Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, but if Jesus were ripped like him, He would have stuck out, right? Same thing if He was six foot seven, with blonde hair and blue eyes, but He wasn’t. He looked like a regular guy. He could have been your cousin or older brother.    

We should remember that. Jesus really had a fully human experience. He ate. He drank. He got tired. He slept. He got frustrated and angry. He wept with sorrow and danced at a wedding in Cana. Even though He was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He didn’t live in a palace surrounded by servants who waited on His every need or desire. He could have. He is the Messiah after all, but He didn’t. Paul reminds us, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being” (Philippians 2:6-7). That was intentional. Jesus wanted to experience what we experience. Joy. Love. Hope. Anger. Peace. Grief. Friendship. Because He did, there is nothing you and I can go through in life that He does not understand.

When you are tired and hungry, Jesus knows. Before He feeds the five thousand, Mark tells us, “Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31). When you are tempted to sin, Jesus knows. The devil tempted Him three times in the desert. When you lose a loved one, He knows. He weeps when Lazarus dies. When you are betrayed, He knows. For thirty silver coins, Judas told the Sanhedrin about the Garden of Gethsemane, and those who welcomed Him so jubilantly on Palm Sunday, were shouting for His crucifixion five days later. 

I want you to remember that Jesus told us in the Gospel of John, “The thief’s [Satan’s] purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give [you] a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10). He really does know what our everyday lives are like. 

I highly encourage you to watch both seasons of “The Chosen.” Download the app onto your phone or tablet and cast it to your TV. It reveals a great truth. Jesus walked the walk. He lived a human life. He knows and understands – firsthand – all of our challenges and joys, and He wants to bless us.               

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