After Jesus: The First Christians 0

It’s a dangerous, tumultuous time in the Roman Empire. There are wars and rebellions among the empire’s client-states, and the emperors are becoming increasing brutal in suppressing any hint of revolution. That spells trouble for the restive Jewish nation on the eastern edge of the empire.  There are would-be messiahs and magic men all over Israel, many proclaiming a special connection to the God of Israel. For the Roman Empire, these men are not worth noticing. The Romans respect the Jews and their single god, Yahweh, and they’ve cut them quite a bit of slack. But when one prophet, Jesus of Nazareth upsets the powers that be by chasing out the money changers out of the Temple in Jerusalem—Judaism’s holiest site—he’s marked for death.

No matter that his followers claim he’s the messiah; the Romans and the Temple priests in Jerusalem think otherwise. Jesus of Nazareth is crucified on a hill with two other common criminals, just another routine execution for the Romans to keep the natives happy. But it’s a Friday, coming up on the Sabbath, so the Romans allow Jesus’ followers to take down his body for burial. And three days later, his followers discover something astonishing: his body has somehow escaped from the rock-sealed tomb. As prophecy and he both promised, he has risen from the dead. Christianity has begun…

After Jesus, co-written and produced by Michael McKinley and David Gibson with CNN,  investigates just how a man who wanted to shake up Judaism wound up starting a global faith– after his death. Using the official version of early Christianity as given to us by the Gospels and Saint Paul, After Jesus ventures into the world beyond to reveal the complex, violent, and surprising world that gave birth to a new religion.