Sunday is Easter, so let’s watch a guy who played Jesus watch himself portray the Son of God.
Robert Powell played the titular role in “Jesus of Nazareth” 40 years ago. Today, he’s returning to the Holy Land to learn more about Jesus Christ, and filming it all for Smithsonian Channel. Four-part miniseries “The Real Jesus of Nazareth” debuts Easter Sunday, April 16 at 8 p.m. on the cable network.
TheWrap‘s got an exclusive clip from this weekend’s premiere, in which Powell watches his iconic performance from the 1977 TV event — still an Easter and Christmas television tradition for many — for the first time in four decades. Watch that video above.
Powell’s new series aims to draw parallels between the scripted depiction of the biblical story and the real history behind it by breaking down the life of Jesus and the world he lived in. After all, the actor didn’t really learn all that much about the man from scripture.
“The Real Jesus of Nazareth” combines scenes from the landmark series with Powell’s journey throughout modern Israel, where he meets archaeologists and scholars who help him reconstruct the story of the man who changed history and inspired billions, per Smithsonian. Returning to the Holy Land to investigate the life and times of the real historical figure who inspired Christianity, Powell takes viewers through the life of Jesus — what his childhood looked like, the teachings that spawned a religion, and eventually his final days on Earth.
Here’s the cable network’s description for Sunday’s Episode 1: “The Ministry Begins” highlights Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, the first event in Jesus’ life that is reported in all four gospels. Powell looks to uncover how Jesus might have developed the message — radical for its time — that would form the basis of the future Christian religion. Powell travels into the Judaean desert where Jesus fasted for 40 days, and then follows the ancient routes to Galilee where Jesus taught after his exile from Nazareth.