The Murdered Messiah
Jesus (Joshua) of Nazareth has been doubted, reviled and revered for centuries. Yet men and women continue to ask the same questions about whether he was human or divine (or both), a peacemaker or warrior, a prophet or preacher, dead or resurrected, a supporter of religions or more spiritual than religious. The questions go on and on, but Len Lamensdorf, an educator, preacher, scriptwriter, and author, presents an engaging novel about the entire life of Jesus.
Jesus lives in the context of a brutal Roman world and a crooked Jewish leadership always looking over their shoulders for the heavy hand of the Romans. Jesus’s family knows he is different, being witnesses to his first “miracles,” and yet always noting his humility about the source of his powers and identity. Jesus suffers unspeakable horror and grief in an event that leads him to years of study and work with the Essenes. He understands the Zealots and admires them, advising caution, as his is not the way of the sword (yet he has every reason to exact revenge on the enemy).
The author gives no leeway to the Romans, portraying them as brutal, base creatures who act like preying animals. Jesus’s followers and disciples are delineated in all their glory and grime, and the wisdom of the One they follow is left for the reader to deduce rather than be lectured about. His end is stunning! This novel is for everyone, although it is sure to elicit condemnation from those of rigid traditional belief as it calls forth belief and praise. What is for sure is that this historical novel is superb, unforgettable and highly recommended.