Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Risen by Angela Hunt

 I was instantly intrigued when I read what this book was about. I love finding new and different books and this one totally fit the bill. Risen, by Angela Hunt is,

"The Story of the Resurrection as You've Never Seen It Before

Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.

His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth--and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history."

Really this is two stories wound together. Clavius, the Roman Tribune who is investigating a missing body case-- and Rachel a widowed Jew who is searching for truth of her own.

Clavius is a hardened man who deals in death daily. He is very good at his job and has been trained to think and operate in very tough conditions. When he sees Jesus on the cross, he sees another criminal paying for his crimes. He doesn't delight in any of it, but thoroughly believes that Rome is always right.

When the body of Jesus goes missing Clavius must lead the investigation. This was a really interesting section of the book. Clavius explores many different avenues as to what happened to the body. He investigates the tomb, questions the guards on duty and searches other graves. The pressure to find the body is intense and he sweeps the city for anybody who might be able to tell him about this Jesus. He interrogates believers, even some whose names you will recognize. Clavius eventually learns quite a bit in his investigations, and has to make his own decisions about what to do with the evidence.

Rachel, a widowed Jew also encounters Jesus. She sees him on his way to Golgatha. She is working hard to support herself baking bread and selling it. Rachel is harboring a forbidden romance that is causing her a crisis of faith. Her brief encounter with Jesus sets in motion her own investigations.

I really enjoyed reading from both the Roman and Jewish standpoint. How they experienced and dealt with Jesus was as different as their cultures. You can really feel the heightened tensions between Rome and the Jews that surrounded and led up to the death of Jesus.

Obviously, this is a fictionalized account. I thought Angela did a fairly good job of keeping things accurate and Biblical. Just remember that not everything said here is going to be fact. I thought this book did what Bodie and Brock Thoene do so well in their books. Risen brings to life a time-period that can sometimes be hard to imagine. While things may not be totally accurate, just reading the story gets one thinking!

The movie that this book is based off of will be out in February-- you can see the trailer here--

I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Bethany House.

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