Special Effects of Biblical Proportion

We live about an hour away from a big church that puts on a very good passion play each year.  We took a group of students to see it earlier this week.  I have some experience with drama, mostly on the technical side (sound, lights, set construction).  There are some special effects that work well even in amateur theater  to help the audience suspend their disbelief.  This particular passion play uses a silk screen and shadows to show Jesus being scourged; a little bit of technical effect combined with good acting really sell the scene.

Movies have a whole other dimension of effects available, and today it is hard to tell what is real and what isn’t.  Watching a play or film during Holy Week adds to our understanding by providing visual stimulation.  We can read the story, discuss it, and even share it with others, but seeing and hearing the dramatization can still add to our experience.  There are times when the Bible itself seems to have a flair for the dramatic and God uses some special effects of his own to drive the point home.  After displaying his power and wonders in Egypt, the Hebrews cross the Red Sea on dry land and see Pharaoh’s army crushed by the same water.  Mount Sinai shook and smoldered when God descended onto it.  No other biblical display was greater than on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. 

One of the plagues visiting Egypt was darkness.  Note that it was more than cloudy.  Exodus says no one could see their hands in front of their own faces, that’s the kind of dark we are talking about.  So when darkness covered the land from the sixth to the ninth hour (noon to 3 pm) on the day Jesus died, I believe it was more than overcast.  Luke 23 says the sun’s light failed.  When the Bible says dark that’s what it means.  When Jesus died the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom.  This passage in Matthew 27 records an earthquake and the saints being raised from the dead and appearing to many.  Perhaps the zombie prophets never appear in your Easter message, but look again and see it they’re not in there.  (I’m half kidding, but it does say the graves opened.  Spooky.)  Upon seeing everything that happened, the centurion declares that Jesus must have been the Son of God.

There are other special effect moments in the New Testament; the Day of Pentecost and pretty much every single event in Revelation come to mind.  But what about us? We were dead to sin but have been made alive to God.  The old man is dead and in Christ we are transformed into new creatures.  The Gospel message has a very special effect on those who receive it.  As Christ followers, we are to be the salt and light of this world.  By sowing the seeds of the Gospel, we should have an effect as well.

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3 thoughts on “Special Effects of Biblical Proportion

  1. Great post Clark. Yes we who choose Christ as Lord have an amazing change. The change in us is do to the Holy Spirits presence in us. The death of the old man which formerly was our only nature. Now as we believe in Christ, we receive a second nature, the new man who is geared towards walking in the spirit and obeying God. The old man is still there, but Christ gives us the power to control that man and obey our Father.

    Praise God for His work that saves us.

    Greg

  2. I should be careful when saying “we” and “us” when referring to Christian believers. Salvation is not universal, so there may be some reader out there who needs to repent and believe the Gospel.

    If you are bound to sin you can be set free. Jesus went to the cross to make that possible, but many will reject the gift of salvation being offered. Look at the crucified savior and realize how far he came to bring each lost sheep back into God’s fold. He would rather die for you than live without you.

    Jesus was hanging on the cross still praying even for those who were killing him. As Christians, WE should have a burden for the lost.

  3. Great blog Clark. I pray it causes some to consider, maybe for the first time, all that Christ secured for us.

    Our God is a God of miracles that amaze us and stretch our minds to comprehend the enormity of them.

    What was God’s greatest miracle? In my opinion it wasn’t the parting of the Sea, for the Sea had no option but to obey its Creator. It wasn’t the fire that consumed the altar at the time of Elijah, for once again the elements had no option but to obey. And so it is with all the miracles recorded.

    On the other hand, I had free will. I had NO discipline in all my life. I did as I pleased. I went my own way with no thought of God. I believe the greatest miracle of all was when the all powerful God called me to Himself, breaking my stubborn will. He CHANGED me and He gave me a new life.

    What an amazing God!

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