Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When Jesus Wept Book Review

Jerusalem Chronicles
Book One

SUMMARY:  Lazarus - the man Jesus raised from the dead in one of the most extraordinary encounters with The Living Savior in all of Scripture.  But the life of Lazarus holds interest well beyond this miraculous event.  Living in Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus witnessed many of the most important events of Jesus' life and ministry.
     Lazarus owned a vineyard and devoted his life to caring for its vines and fruit.  But he encountered another man - Jesus - whose vineyard was the world, its fruit the eternal souls of men.  When Lazarus' story and the story of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection touch in When Jesus Wept, we are offered a unique vision into the power and comfort of Christ's love.
     Brock and Bodie Thoene's most powerful and climatic writing project to date, When Jesus Wept, captures the power and the passion of the men and women who lived through the most important days in the history of the world.

REVIEW:  When I read books that are centered around stories of the Bible, I tend to read them with a critical eye and find it difficult to read it just as it is meant - as a work of fiction where some liberties may be taken when needed.  The authors do take liberties in linking characters together.  The adulterous woman the Pharisees brought before Jesus to be condemned and stone was portrayed as Mary, Lazarus' half-sister.  Mary was also said to be the one who anointed Jesus' head with oil, washed His feet and helped support His ministry.  The girl who had died and Jesus brought back to life was portrayed as Lazarus' cousin, as was the wedding couple where Jesus performed his first miracle.  Lazarus also shows up in many key events in Jesus' life and ministry: the feeding of the 5000, Jesus walking on water (but Peter never left the boat), turning water into wine, Jesus' baptism, and the healing of the blind, leprous, crippled and paralyzed. 
     This book is about Lazarus' life as John the Baptist begins his ministry and ends at Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  Lazarus' life and his work as a keeper of the vines and winemaker show the different ways the Jewish lifestyle and style of worship reflected God and the sacrifice that needed to be made by the Perfect Lamb.  I enjoyed reading how the vines were planted, tended and harvested and seeing how it reflects God's care for his people.  The section describing what happened when Lazarus died was fascinating and I liked their explanations of most things.
      It was also interesting to see how the authors' portrayed Jesus' interaction with those around him: the Pharisees and those condemning him to those seeking the truth and those who acknowledged the truth of who Jesus really was and chose to follow him.  He is portrayed as loving, kind, forgiving, and a faithful friend who struggled with the hardness and depravity of the hearts of men.
     This was an interesting book.  I will be open to seeing how the rest of this series unfolds and advances.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.

Bodie & Brock Thoene are best-selling authors of over sixty-five works of historical fiction.  Their timeless classics have sold more than thirty-five million copies and have won eight ECPA Gold Medallion Awards.

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