(Photo: Joe Alblas)
The fifth and final episode of "The Bible" miniseries on The History Channel started with the High Priest Caiaphas contemplating how to kill Jesus without stoning him, which is the punishment for the charge of blasphemy. Caiaphas is afraid that if he stones Jesus, then there will be an uprising among Jesus' followers.
Jesus is brought out of the temple and shown to the people with the soldier announcing that he has been convicted of blasphemy and his sentence is death. Then the soldier notices Peter among the crowd and asks if he knows Jesus, but he denies three times during repeated questioning. As Peter denies knowing Jesus, a guard hits Jesus and he falls to the ground, and after Peter denies Jesus three times, he is also hit and falls to the ground. Jesus and Peter make eye contact as they lie on the ground, and Peter remembers that Jesus had earlier told him that he would deny him three times.
Pontius Pilate's wife has a dream that her husband will put an innocent and holy man to death and warns him.
There's a confrontation between Pilate and Caiaphas about the necessity of Pilate putting Jesus to death. Caiaphas keeps pushing Pilate to kill Jesus, saying he is a threat to the security of the Roman Empire. Pilate says to give Jesus 40 lashes only.
While the movie "The Passion of The Christ" makes the lashing scene very bloody, "The Bible's" lashing scene is relatively short, but chose to emphasize the humanity of Jesus more – his pain and struggle as he deals with the lashes with his human body.
As Jesus lies trembling from the pain of the lashes on the jail floor, the soldiers come in and prop him up and set a crown of thorn on him, adding to his pain.
Pilate allows the people to choose between the thief and murderer Barrabas and Jesus to let free, and they chose Barrabas and shout out to crucify Jesus.
Mary the mother of Jesus, who has watched Jesus get arrested and tortured, walks alongside the streets as Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha. She finds a chance to break through the guards and talk to Jesus after he falls to the ground from exhaustion from carrying the cross. He tells her, "Don't be afraid, everything is possible with God," and using all his strength, he pulls the cross toward himself and picks it back up and walks on.
Pilate decides to make the sign for Jesus' crucifixion, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews," despite Caiaphas' protest that it should say this man claims to be the king of the Jews.
On Golgotha, the sadistic soldiers taunt and whip Jesus more as he crawls with his only strength left to the cross on the ground and lays his body across it.
Back at the palace, Pilate's wife tells her husband that he will regret crucifying Jesus. He said this is hardly the first Jew he has killed. But his wife retorts that this man was chosen by God. But Pilate predicts that Jesus will be forgotten in a week.
Jesus is nailed to the cross and he is lifted up. He prays for Father God to forgive the soldiers who crucified him for they don't know what they're doing. Meanwhile, Peter is crying in an empty house about his denial.
Then dark clouds pass over the city and move towards Golgotha, and Jesus says, "It's finished." There is an earthquake and Jesus dies, the temple candles and curtain fall to the ground, and the whole city shakes. A soldier stabs Jesus in the side to check if he truly died, and he does not move.
The first hour of episode 5 is about the crucifixion, and the second hour is about the resurrection and the spreading of the Gospel by the disciples.
After Jesus's body is lowered, Nicodemus comes with permission from Pilate to take the body. He, Mary mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and John clean Jesus' body and put him in the tomb.
All the disciples are gathered in a dark house, depressed that their teacher is dead. But Mary Magdalene runs to tell them that the tomb is open. Peter and John run and confirm that Jesus' body is gone. Peter comes back to the other disciples and leads a communion, breaking bread and telling the other disciple to sip the wine as he explains that Jesus said that he was the way, the truth and the life.
At that moment Jesus appears before them and talks to the disciples, telling them to believe that he is alive.
Forty days later, Jesus is shown teaching his disciples on the mountainside and telling them that the Holy Spirit will come and give them power and that they must go into all the world and preach. Then he ascends to heaven. Peter then takes charge and tells the disciples that they have work to do.
Fifty days after Easter, Stephen appears and meets with the disciples and they gather and pray. As they pray, the Holy Spirit comes and they speak in many different languages.
With the power of the Holy Spirit, the disciples go to the temple and on the way Peter meets a lame beggar and he tells him "I don't have silver or gold, but what I have I'll give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, rise up and walk." Peter helps him up and the beggar is able to walk.
Peter and Stephen are brought to Caiaphas along with the beggar for preaching about Jesus, but both of them refuse to stop preaching. The next scene Stephen is preaching about Jesus in the street and Paul incites the people to stone Stephen and he becomes the first martyr.
Paul is shown to be more violent and extreme than even Caiaphas, and he uses Caiaphas' men, money and power to beat up followers of Jesus. On his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians, Jesus appears to him and he goes blind.
Then Ananais follows Jesus' order and finds Paul and heals his eyes. Paul holds onto Ananais' leg and begs to not leave him. Ananais then baptizes him suddenly with water and Paul realizes his commission is to proclaim the name of Jesus.
James, brother of Apostle John, is captured and beheaded as the disciples watch. They decide that even though they are not afraid of death, they should disperse because if they are all dead they cannot proclaim the name of Jesus.
Paul preaches to a skeptical crowd who know his past as a persecutor, but among them is Luke, who joins Paul in his ministry.
Peter is brought to the house of Cornelius by a Roman soldier, and Cornelius tells Paul an angle has come to him and told him to find Peter. Peter baptizes Cornelius, who is the first Roman to be baptized in the name of Jesus, and his whole family.
One of the last scenes is Paul dictating to Luke Romans 5:3-5: "Because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given us." But the scenes with Paul are spliced with that of Peter being beaten bloody for preaching the Gospel.
A narrator says that all the disciples died for the cause, with Peter crucified upside down in Rome, Matthew killed in Ethiopia; Thomas in India, and John poisoned in Rome. Paul was beheaded by the Romans. But they failed to kill Apostle John through poison, and instead exiled him and it's in exile that he wrote the final book in the Bible, Revelation.