Paperback The Trilogy of the Cross Part One - The Silver Conspiracy: The Untold Story of Christ's Betrayal
This is a historical novel of the events leading up to and including the betrayal of Christ. Based on all four Gospel accounts, this is the fictional story behind the biblical story. This is part of a trilogy on the Betrayal, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Watch for the release of the second in this series, Skullduggery at Golgotha.
With the eloquence of a gifted preacher, and in the ancient tradition of an Irish Storyteller, Pr. MacNeil has written a captivating novel by retelling the story of Jesus’ betrayal. This story truly engages the imaginations of readers with explanations of those things that were well known to Gospel readers in the early centuries, but are unknown by most of us today.
Beginning with Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah, it covers significant events up to Jesus’ arrest. Early on, the disciples argue over who among them is greatest giving readers a revealing look into their personalities and how they interact throughout the story.
There is a turning point in Jesus' life when a man called Lazarus dies. The Rabbi's the personal friendship this man’s sisters is tried and he is faced with their anger because he was not there for them. In this, he realizes he has a pattern of avoiding death. His parents brought him to Egypt to avoid it, he has healed those who were near death, prevented the storm from drowning him and his disciples, raised the dead, and he escaped from an attempt on his life while in Jerusalem and again in Nazareth. This is a personal turning point for Jesus. Now he must mourn Lazarus’ death, meet with his grieving sisters and he must come to terms with his own impending death.
Behind the scenes, the Judean high court monitors Jesus, conspires to trap him, schemes to arrest him, and finally decides to have him killed.
The story comes to a scolding boil when the authorities are enraged by Jesus’ Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem. They draw parallels to it and the triumphal entrance of the Maccabees when they liberated their people from Greek rule one hundred and seventy years prior. They worry that the kindling of this memory combined with the celebration of Passover, when God delivered them with a mighty hand from slavery in Egypt, may trigger an uprising against their Roman rulers.
The Passover meal is fully described including where the meal overlaps with the Institution of Communion. There Jesus discloses that one of them will betray him and Judas begins to have a series of terrifying flashbacks of his conspiracy plan.
Just as Jesus was strengthened by an angel in the wilderness, so also in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus prays, another angel comes to strengthen him. As this angel is praying, his wings magnificently open and cover them both as a sheltering and protective umbrella. The story climaxes with an unexpected display of swordsmanship by Peter and John, and Jesus’ surrender.
In the final chapter of this book you will be taken back to the time before Jesus was betrayed. You will experience this event in his life then as if for the first time and unknowing of the outcome. There you will share in his struggle with the same deep, and heart felt emotions that Jesus struggled with in his indecision as he agonized in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Just as our Lord travailed before surrendering his life, you will also find a new and personal sense of surrender, of dying to self and picking up their own cross as they follow the Lord.