I don’t need science to prove to me that Jesus was who He said He was – both fully human and fully divine.  The reason is that I know Jesus.  I know Him as a person and a personal God.  I haven’t just studied His life and Paschal Mystery, but I have journeyed with Him.  And He with me.

I realize that many people in our modern culture require evidence in order to have faith.  We live in a very atheistic – or more accurately pagan – society, and knowing about God seems more attainable than knowing God for who He is.  It’s at least a vantage point.

Fortunately – and surprisingly, I might add – CNN is sponsoring a fantastic cinematic experience called Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery that premieres Sunday, March 1st at 9 PM Eastern and will air for six consecutive weeks, concluding just before Easter.  It seems fitting to have such a series in the midst of Lent, especially for those who have somehow turned lukewarm in their spiritual interests.  Even for people well-versed in theology or interested in scientific analysis, this series is fascinating, riveting, and relevant to everyone, regardless of creed or level of faith.

Kevin Wandra of Carmel Communications explains that “each episode of the six-part series investigates the value and authenticity of a historical object which could shed new light on Jesus: the Shroud of Turin, relics venerated as part of the True Cross, the gospel of Judas, relics believed to be of John the Baptist, the burial box of Jesus’ brother James and the gospel of Mary Magdalene.”

Finding Jesus will lure and allure us.  It lures us out of our winter slumber – that lazy way of being in which we sort of go through the motions of every day in zombie-like catatonia.  It allures us, because Jesus is the human form of God, and therefore, the most relatable Person of the Trinity to us.  Even skeptics must admit the scientific veracity of the historical Jesus, but I believe this mini-series will carry people beyond mere facts.

When I was watching the first episode, my heart was deeply moved, almost as profoundly as when I first watched The Passion of the Christ nearly ten years ago.  I was reminded of a lyric from one of my favorite contemporary Christian songs by the Sidewalk Prophets, You Love Me Anyway:

I am a thorn in Your crown,
But You love me anyway.
I am the sweat from Your brow,
But You love me anyway.
I am the nail in Your wrist,
But You love me anyway.
I am Judas’ kiss,
But You love me anyway.

I wasn’t watching the first segment for entertainment or to appease any doubts.  I didn’t always ruminate over whether the Shroud of Turin is a real image of Jesus or a forgery.  What captivated me were his wounds.  I saw myself in them.  Every time He was pierced, each unfathomable torment and agony was a reflection of my sins thrust into His body and heart.

Essentially I saw Jesus’ mercy, and I was swept into that abyss of His love in a way that only Divine Grace can offer.  No evidence or facts are comparable to what happens to a person who encounters Jesus in a personal way. 

How will you find Jesus this Lent?  Finding Jesus is well worth your time as a means of deepening your appreciation for His sacrifice, furthering your knowledge of His life and Paschal Mystery, and perhaps even a segue into approaching Holy Week with a renewed holy fear of the Lord.

For more information, visit Carmel Communications or CNN.

Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing