Did you watch the epic miniseries The Bible that aired on The History Channel in 2013?
If so, you were in good company. It was a surprise smash hit.
Why do I say a “surprise”?
Because network executives didn’t believe anyone would want to watch a miniseries about the Bible on TV. The History Channel hoped the program would get as many as three million viewers. But when all was said and done, over 100 million people had watched the series.
Beyond sheer numbers, the impact on individuals has been as epic as the series itself. Maybe that’s because seeing biblical stories come alive on the screen brings them alive in our imaginations.
It’s a visual reminder that, although we live in a very different world than the biblical characters, nothing has really changed with humanity. But it also reminds us that God is just as present and as active today as He has been throughout history.
My good friends Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the producers of The Bible, say biblical history is “our story.” The people in the Bible didn’t know they were the people in the Bible. They were human beings like us, struggling with the circumstances set before them, just as we are. We see our humanity through the biblical characters, and God’s grace in their lives and ours.
And that is powerful when you consider that a lot of what’s happening today in parts of the world parallels the persecution of the early church. That’s why I’m happy to have Roma and Mark as guests on our program today, discussing their newest endeavor, A.D. The Bible Continues.
It picks up where The Bible miniseries left off and takes a deeper look into the Christian story, beginning with the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Dramatic portrayals illustrate the brutality of the Roman empire which ruled with an iron fist to squash unrest in Judea. Much like the world we live in today, governments ruled according to political expediency instead of truth. Watching it all unfold on your TV screen, you’ll feel the fear of the early church. But you’ll also witness their commitment to Jesus Christ and be inspired to strengthen yours.
The premiere episode will air April 5, Easter Sunday, on NBC with new episodes following each week for 12 weeks, exploring the first ten chapters of the Book of Acts.
I hope you’ll tune in to your local radio station as we discuss this upcoming miniseries on today’s broadcast, “A Bold Witness for Christ on Network TV.” If you can’t join us, remember our program is available anytime online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
One last thing… I’m excited to announce the return of our John 3:16 television ad from 2012. The ad, which shows children reciting the John 3:16 Bible verse, first aired during a national football game and was seen by an estimated 33 million people. We’re pleased and humbled by the opportunity to share it once again. The ad will run during the A.D. The Bible Continues miniseries. Watch for it.