Risen by Angela Hunt is a historical fiction novel based on the movie “Risen” by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello.
The story is told by Roman soldier Clavius and his Jewish lover, Rachel. Rachel is a widow who bakes and sells bread. Her parents have past away and her husbands parents want her to marry their younger son, whom she does not want to marry.
The main character in the story is Clavius, a Roman tribune. He was ordered by Pilate to make sure the 3 men being crucified would die that day . Two days after Jesus’s death, guards are put outside the tomb to guard it as Jesus said he would rise on the third day. The Roman’s did not want anyone to take his body. The guards fell asleep and were waken by the noise of the tomb opening up. When Jesus’s disappearance is discovered, the Roman soldiers are instructed to find the body and the disciples to see who took the body. The soldiers are told to check all the bodies of people who had died the previous week, even to dig them up. It is hard to recognize who the bodies are so they go by the scars from the crown of thorns, the hands and feet and the sword piercing in the side as well as the legs are not broken.
Clavius struggles with how the tomb was opened, the ropes were torn apart, not cut and the weight of the stone covering the opening was very heavy. Being a non-Christian, he also starts to question his beliefs and those spoke by Rachel and the Jewish believers.
This is a really good book. It is a fictional story of what may have happened after Jesus’s death and what it may have been like for the people at the time . The story gives us a glimpse into the life at that time. Not everything in the story is biblical and the author explains that in her remarks at the end of the book. She also gives a listing of the times recorded in the Bible that Jesus returned after his death. The book starts out slow but once the story gets started it is a fast moving story. Jesus is referred to by his Hebrew name “Yeshua” in the book.
I was given this book by The Book Club Network, the author and publishing company for an honest review.