I still remember when The Passion hit the theaters. You know, the movie directed by Mel Gibson about Jesus' crucifixion. It sure did cause controversy in the media but needless to say, it was a powerful depiction of what Jesus endured.
I was in Bible school at the time and a small group of us were on a team that traveled to different churches. On one of our days off, we went to see the film. I'll never forget walking into the pastor's home after the movie, all somber and sober as if we just returned from a funeral. The looks on our faces were intense and nobody spoke a word. Our leader, who had stayed back with his wife, took one look at us and said, "you do know that Jesus rose from the dead, right?"
At that moment it hit me, the cross is an integral part of the Christian experience, but the story does not end there. The power lies in that fact that even though he endured a terrible punishment as an innocent man, Jesus did indeed rise again that we might bear His name and be a part of His bride, the church, for eternity!
When I began Judith Couchman's book , The Mystery of the Cross, I was curious as to what the focus would be. Would it leave me questioning at the cross, or remind us that Jesus has power over the death, the cross and the grave. Well, I was not disappointed! I was pleasantly surprised how the author could portray such an intense event in history in such a beautiful and life changing way!
The book is divided into forty chapters. Each chapter focuses on a piece of art or historical reference to the cross throughout Christian history. What I love about the layout of the book is it could easily be used as a reference book for a Christian school or college. The chapters each have their own focus and would be a great resource book. Each chapter is short, concise and to the point. She begins with historical information and at the end of each chapter she always sums it up with a message of hope. The cross is a sobering subject to contemplate, but there is hope, and she reminds you of that at the end of each chapter.
My favorite chapter was "A Cross for the Darkness" which focused on the oil lamps of biblical times. It brought many Scriptures to life and was an intriguing read. The chapter about the disciples and how many of them died on a cross as well was eye-opening.
Each chapter included a small piece of artwork in the beginning. The images were small and it would have been nice to have some larger images and maybe a few more, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
|Books pictured are some examples of her work, not necessarily the books included in the prize|
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** I received a copy of the above book for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, the views expressed above are entirely my own**