So late August 2015 I went to my local movie theater and I saw a trailer for the movie Risen coming out in February 2016. I was so excited because the trailer looked really good, So when I had the opportunity to review the book for the publisher, I was thrilled!
It is the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ( in the book he is called by his Hebrew name Yeshua ) but as seen through the eyes of two unbelievers. One is Clavius, A Tribune for the Roman army. The second is Rachel, A Jewish widow who is finding herself wandering from the Jewish faith. One day during the Passover feast Rachel is drawn by a crowd that were watching something on the
street. She managed to elbow her way to the front of the crowd and was
shocked to see a procession of three criminals set to be crucified. She
looked at the three criminals as they went by and was shocked to see the third man
barely alive. He looked to have been almost completely beaten to death,
He was so weak that he could not carry the cross beam that would be
nailed to form the cross he was to be executed on. What surprised her
the most was that when he looked at her, she did not see hate or anger
in his eyes like she had seen on the two previous criminals. She saw
love and such a raw, shattering pain that moved her heart. She is not sure what
led her but she follow the procession up to a hill called Golgotha where
all of the crucifixions are done... Clavius is assigned to oversee the execution of a so called Nazarene king. He has done many crucifixions before so he did not think this would be any different. When he arrived at Golgotha, The "king" was already dead. Just to make sure that he was indeed dead. Clavius had a soldier stick a spear into the Nazarene's side and when blood and water flowed Clavius confirmed the Nazarene was dead. He wanted to make sure that the job was finished so he watched as they took the Nazarene's body off the cross and followed to make sure that it was buried... Rachel knew that she would be stoned if her people knew that she was seeing a Roman soldier, Especially since she was not married to him and he was a gentile. But anytime she saw Clavius she felt loved and cherished. She knew that they would never be able to be together because they come from two different worlds but still, she looked forward to his visits... Clavius was summoned to Pilate's palace the morning after the crucifixion and told to make sure that the Nazarene's body was in the tomb and to put guards there to stand guard for about three days because the Pharisee leaders were afraid that Jesus disciples would come and steal the body and claim that he had risen from the dead.
Clavius put guards at the tomb and verified that Nazarene's body was buried in the tomb. Three days after he had crucified the Nazarene, He was summoned by Pilate and was told that the body of the Nazarene had disappeared. The guards said that the body was stolen by the Nazarene's rabid disciples but when Clavius was able to question them further he discovered they were lying about certain details. Clavius is tasked with finding the body of Yeshua. As he investigates Yeshua and His followers, he finds himself drawn to find out just what happened... Rachel is intrigued by this man called Yeshua. She watched him die and she has heard that he is alive again... Will Clavius find the body of Yeshua ? Who will Rachel decide to follow, Clavius and his roman gods or Yeshua? Guess you will have to read it ( or watch the movie) to find out!
So what did I think about the book?
I thought that the book was good. It was very unique to see the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus through the eyes of people that did not know who he was. The Bible story parts (The crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, etc... were accurate except that they added the main characters to the stories but the Author does include a note in the back of the book that describes what was fiction and what was not. There is not much violence in the book except the part where they capture Barabbas but there was nothing graphic. Rachel and Clavius have a secret relationship but there is absolutely nothing said or written besides an occasional kiss and she often is in his arms during their time together ( mostly they just talk). Overall I like the book and would like to go see the movie. I rate the book 3 out of 5 stars *****
If you would like to check out this book or some of her other writing you can check them out at :
Happy Reading :)
would like to thank Bethany House for allowing me to read and review
this book in return for a free copy and I was not asked to write a
favorable review, Just a honest one.