- Please see Jesus Christ for others with the same name.
|“||Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.||„|
|~ Joshua "Jesus-Christ" Joseph|
Jesus Christ was the central character in the 1977 television miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.
The son of God, this version of Jesus was equally human and equally divine. He was the son of Mary and Joseph. After his birth King Herod had baby boys in his kingdom murdered in order to kill this threat to his power. Warned in a dream, Joseph took his family and fled to Egypt.
Upon growing up Jesus went to see his cousin John the Baptist at the River Jordan in order to receive baptism. John attempted to protest that it was he should be baptised by Jesus, but Jesus insisted, saying it had to happen this way.
Following the baptism Jesus began his public ministry. He performed a number of miracles, saved a woman about to be stoned for adultery, and passed on his teachings through parables. Jesus gained a following during this time, including a group of dedicated men who would become the twelve apostles.
One of the apostles was a man named Judas Iscariot. A zealot, he was working towards the goal of having the Romans occupying Judea removed by force. In time he decided to betray Jesus to the Sanhedrin, believing that once Jesus explained himself to them they would offer to join him in overthrow the Roman occupiers, and in turn that would convince Jesus to lead them in doing so.
At passover Jesus sat down for his last meal with the disciples. Judas slipped out to meet the high priests and gather the men who would arrest Jesus. Going to the Garden of Gethsemane they arrested Jesus. It soon became obvious to Judas that the high priests were in collusion with the Romans and were not going to listen to Jesus. Despondent over what he had done, Judas committed suicide.
Jesus was taken before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. The high priests were hoping that Pilate would do their dirty work for him and execute Jesus. Pilate questioned Jesus at length, becoming exasperated when Jesus refused to defend himself. Pilate decided to ask the crowd outside the palace who they wanted released, Barabbas or Jesus. Despite the efforts of Mary and the disciples to convince Pilate to release Jesus, the crowd prevailed in having Pilate release Barabbas. As Jesus was led away to be crucified Pilate's aides complained about the release of Barabbas, warning Pilate that Barabbas was an assassin and enemy of Rome. Pilate responded that he wondered who the real enemy was.
Jesus was crucified at Calvary. While watching helplessly, Nicodemus recited the Suffering Servant passage from Isaiah that predicted this would happen.
Three days later two women arrived to properly prepare Christ's body for burial. Upon arriving at his tomb they found it empty. The risen Christ appeared to his disciples where he explained what happened and why it had to happen the way that it did. Meanwhile a man named Zerah arrived at the tomb, and finding it empty he said, "Now it begins. It all begins".
Initially the producers considered casting a well known actor in the role of Jesus. They first considered Dustin Hoffmann as well as Al Pacino. However they decided against both of them on the grounds that they would not match the popular conception of Jesus Christ held by the American public.
The decision to have Jesus played by the British actor Robert Powell was due to producer Lew Grade's wife, Kathie Moody who had noticed his striking blue eyes when he appeared in Jude the Obscure.. When casting the film, director Franco Zeffirelli briefly considered Powell for the role of Judas Iscariot, a role that ultimately went to Ian McShane. The decision to have Powell play Jesus was controversial due to the fact that he was an unmarried man living with his girlfriend Barbara Lord. The two married before production began.
In order to bring about a supernatural appearance Powell avoided blinking during his scenes. Additionally dark blue eyeliner was applied on set to accentuate Powell's blue eyes.
In the book Man of Nazareth, which was based on the television miniseries Pontius Pilate recognizes the validity of the doctrine Jesus is preaching. Pilate goes as far as telling Jesus that he is free to go, but Jesus convinces Pilate that he must be put to death.