Season Two of FINDING JESUS: FAITH, FACT, FORGERY Debuts for the Lenten Season

In time for the Lenten/Easter season, CNN debuts the second season of its hit series, Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery. 

 In its first season, Finding Jesus ranked #1 across cable news in its time period among total viewers. The series captivated the faith community as well-known pastors, theologians, and scholars examined famous religious artifacts and brought to life the places and the people of the Bible whose lives were touched by Jesus.

Season 2 of Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery will explore:

  • The Childhood Home of Jesus
  • The Tomb of King Herod
  • The Bones of St. Peter
  • Relics Believed To Shed Truth About Doubting Thomas
  • The Pilate Stone
  • The Tomb of Lazarus

The series utilizes the latest state-of-the-art scientific techniques, archaeological research, as well as dramatizations of the biblical stories and commentary from a panel of respected theologians and scholars, including:

  • A.R. Bernard (Christian Cultural Centre, New York)
  • Erwin McManus (MOSAIC, Los Angeles)
  • Father James Martin, SJ (Author, Jesus: A Pilgrimage)
  • Bishop Minerva Carcaño (United Methodist Church)
  • Ben Witherington III (Asbury Theological Seminary)
  • Mark Goodacre (Duke University)
  • Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame)

The Tomb of Lazarus

This episode centered around Lazarus, the follower of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of John. Most the episode examined Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, their relationship with Jesus, and an in-depth look at the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead. The panel of experts provided interesting insight and details of the biblical story as well as the cultural thought and practices of that time surrounding death.

The rest of the episode looked at what happened to Lazarus after he was resurrected. According to church tradition, following his resurrection, Lazarus and his sisters left Bethany and went to Cyprus, where church history states that he became the first bishop of Cyprus. A church in Cyprus named for Lazarus burnt in 1972; during the cleanup, a sarcophagus with a partial skeleton was discovered. Many people believe these bones to be that of Lazarus.

The episode was insightful and the commentary provided by the panel of experts was interesting. For the most part, I was intrigued by what was said; however, there were a couple of things that I personally disagreed with, including the brief suggestion by one man that the reason Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb was because, for a moment, He doubted God’s will. While I don’t for a moment believe that, it will not keep me from watching or recommending the series. Finding Jesus provides insightful information that could spark discussion about the impact of Jesus’ ministry, early church history, and why our faith is more meaningful than ever in our modern-day world.

Produced by Nutopia, with executive producers Ben Goold and Jane Root, Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact Forgery will premiere on CNN Sunday, March 5 at 9 PM ET/PT. A companion resource site has been created with clips, photos, and sermon aids for pastors, small groups, and anyone who would like further discussion:   www.findingjesusresources.org