Lent: Charleton Heston, The Bible, and the Next 40 Days
As we journey through the season of Lent, our Community Bible Reading and Weekly Blog will take us through the book of Exodus. This incredible Old Testament story — though it took place centuries before Jesus came — offers both a foundation and a foreshadowing of the incredible things that God would do through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. As we journey through this biblical book, we’ll explore the connections between the two, and celebrate the incredible wisdom in God’s plans and the incredible grace in His salvation! Read on!
Day 1: Exodus 1
Day 2: Exodus 2
Day 3: Exodus 3
Day 4: Exodus 4.1-17
Day 5: Exodus 4.18-29
Reflection Questions for Each Day’s Reading
What can you learn about who God is and what He values from the story so far? What does this mean for your own life and circumstances right now?
How do you see brokenness, sin and evil being displayed in this story so far? Do you see any similar ways these kinds of things showed up in the story of Jesus? What about in your own life and circumstances?
How do you see God working in this story, even though people may not have realised, seen, or felt him working? How might this speak into your own perspective in the midst of the challenges you are facing today?
Spend some time in reflection, prayer, and maybe even journalling. Share with God about the ways you see brokenness, sin and evil at work in you and around you. Ask him to help you see the ways He is at work saving, rescuing, and renewing you.
For as long as I can remember, every Good Friday afternoon would include an at home screening of Cecille B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments. We never had a TV Guide and yet somehow my dad knew exactly when it would be on. I thought that my dad was some type of tv whisperer until I learned that major television networks have been airing Yul Brynner’s hairless chest and Charlton Heston’s magnificent beard every Passover/Easter season for nearly 50 years. Sorry for the visual. Or, maybe, you’re welcome?
I knew the movie was about a Bible character (Moses) and bunch of cool Bible stories (walking through the basin of a sea without getting wet, fire in the sky, chariots chasing families who were running for their lives, frogs everywhere….just to name a few), but I never understood why it was being played at Easter. I figured the story of Easter was important but no one had ever made a movie about it (there were) so they just played what they had. Plus, what else is there to do but watch a three and half hour (probably more like 5 with commercials) epic movie on Good Friday afternoon when all the shops are closed and you’re stuffed from a big lunch?
Eventually, later on in life, I learned that the story of Moses, and Egypt, and Pharaoh, and frogs, has much more to do with the story of Jesus than I ever thought possible. Believe it or not, it even has way more to do with our own personal and communal experiences of life today that you and I probably ever thought.
My hope is that you’ll prioritize joining together as we read through the Book of Exodus during this Lenten Season. Together we’ll see how this ancient telling of God’s unrelenting love for people and how He is a Father who is actively involved and caring for, protecting, disciplining, and ultimately saving his children from the terrors, pains, and challenges of life.
Even in the first few chapters that we’ll read together this week we’ll begin to see how God saw how his children were being oppressed and enslaved and had compassion for them. Not compassion that made his simply feel bad or sad for them, but a compassion that drove him to create a plan to rescue them. That plan included raising up a leader, inviting and equipping him to be the one who would rise up from the people around him and save God’s people.
Without hesitation the first few chapters of Exodus jump right in and begin to tell us the beginnings of this epic story. No wonder it is one of the biggest and best movies of all time!
Maybe by now your interest is peaked and at the very least you want to go rent The Ten Commandmentsand actually that’s not a bad idea!
Wait…Did I just say rent? Yeah, why don’t you take a horse and buggy down to the local Blockbuster or Jumbo Video and pick up a VHS…you know what I mean!
But seriously, why not watch the movie to get acquainted with the story? And if you have some kiddos or simply love animation, you might want to get your hands on The Prince of Egypt (this one is on Netflix and it is just as good as the live version).
But don’t stop at simply viewing some good cinema. Join in on reading the story from Scripture. My hope is that as we walk through the story of Exodus that we’ll quickly begin to see all the ways it foreshadows the story of Jesus – a leader who was chosen, raised up from the people around him, and sent on mission to save those around him.
I hope that these next 40 days of reading and reflecting and expecting together will enable us to experience the love and Fatherhood of God and to see how Jesus was sent to rescue us.
For an overview of the first half of Exodus, watch this video… https://youtu.be/0uf-PgW7rqE