As many times as I’ve heard the crucifixion story, and I’ve heard it all my life, I never could grasp the magnitude of the torture and pain Jesus went through. I went looking for descriptions written by others, and I found this, written by C.S. Lewis, that really helped me see everything Jesus went through.
Lewis was replying to a letter and talking about some people at the time who had objections to one of Jesus’ statements from the cross. Lewis said: “What do these people want? Do they actually visualize Him for 3 hours nailed to a stake–flayed back glued to unplaned wood–Palestinian sun–cloud of insects round head, hands, and feet–the face mask of bruises, pus, spittle, blood, tears & sweat–the lungs gradually tearing owing to the position and then complain–“This doesn’t hurt enough?” This excerpt was taken from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III.
This description really hits home to me the absolute pain and torture Jesus endured. Add to that the fact that He was the Son of God and he could have ended it instantly if He chose, but instead He endured it all, and gave up his spirit after all prophecy was fulfilled. Imagine having the will to continue being tortured even though you could end it at any time! Imagine asking God to forgive His torturers, even though He had the power to instantly end their lives if He wanted. He endured it all because He was here as a sacrifice for us.
John 19: 28-30 New King James Version: 28 After this, Jesus, [a]knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
The Book of Uriel begins in World War II Poland, when a Jewish village is destroyed and its people slaughtered. A little boy, Uriel, finds himself on his own. Unable to speak, Uriel has always written stories in his golden notebook, stories of angels and demons. Taken in by Uwe, a linguist for the Nazis, Uriel sees his stories coming alive. He begins an amazing mission to find the missing Archangel Michael and strikes a bargain with the Angel of Death.
This is an intricately woven tale that shows the cruelty of the Nazis and the horrors of the holocaust while at the same time portraying the spiritual war that is being fought alongside the physical war. Hoffman weaves together historical facts, the Bible, and Jewish folklore to create a written tapestry that you won’t want to put down. Her ability to combine historical fiction with a rich spiritual world is awe-inspiring. As a Christian, I don’t know anything about Jewish folklore, but I do know the Bible. The prophet Elijah, the Archangel Michael, and more familiar Biblical characters are also part of this story. It is a fascinating read, and I definitely believe that the actual battle of good vs. evil is both physical and spiritual.
Fans of the Book Thief will love The Book of Uriel. I also see just a tiny bit of a reminder of Christian author Frank Peretti’s writing, as he too shows the spiritual world alongside the physical world in some of his books.
I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited. I also received a free copy from the publishers via Reads and Reels. My review is voluntary.
Elyse Hoffman strives to tell historical tales with new twists: she loves to meld WWII and Jewish history with fantasy, folklore, and the paranormal. She has written three books in The Barracks of the Holocaust series, with more on the way. Her first full-length novel, The Book of Uriel, is set to be published on January 26th. If you love history and want to read some completely unique stories, follow Elyse at Project613Publishing.com.