Paperbacks The Trilogy of the Cross: All Three Novels
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THE SILVER CONSPIRACY: The Untold Story of Christ’s Betrayal
This novel is the first in a trilogy covering Christ’s Betrayal, Passion and Death, and Resurrection.
Manuscript Length: 88,000 words
Based on all four Gospel accounts, this is the fictional story behind the biblical story. This novel covers the most significant events from Peter’s confession of faith to Jesus’ betrayal and arrest. Each chapter is a scene that offers the drama of what it might have been like when, for example: James and John were named the Sons of Thunder, or when Jesus humiliated the spies who tried to catch him in his words, and when Judas was so publicly offensive at the dinner party where Jesus was anointed.
Clearly Jesus overcame death and the grave. Parallel to that is a pattern of avoiding death. He escaped to Egypt when threatened with murder. In Jerusalem, he vanished when they tried to stone him, and he disappeared in Nazareth when they tried to throw him off a cliff. They brought him the dying and he healed them. Their dead he raised to life. He and his disciples were going to drown at sea and he calmed the storm. When his friend Lazarus was dying he avoided going to Bethany to save him. Four days later he arrived and raised him back to life, but not before he had to face Lazarus’ angry sisters. On the way to the grave, he had to face the tragedy of mortal life and death as he was overcome and broke down weeping bitterly. This raises the question of how will he ever be able to surrender his life to the religious authorities when he knows they will condemn him to death? Can his friend’s death be what breaks this pattern? Will he be able to come to terms with his own long-awaited death?
The story all comes to a scalding boil when the authorities are enraged by Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. They draw parallels to it with 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.
In the final chapter of this book the readers are taken back to the time before Jesus was betrayed. They will experience this event in his life as if for the first time yet unknowing the outcome. They will share in his struggle with the same deep, and heartfelt 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, they 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.
SKULLDUGGERY AT GOLGATHA: The Untold Story of Christ’s Crucifixion
Manuscript Length: 96,000 words
This novel overlaps with its prequel returning to the story at the time Judas is dismissed from the Passover meal and it covers his steps up to the arrest. Jesus’ march down the Mount of Olives is contrasted with his triumphal entry only a few days before. Though Jesus was found guilty by the two trials of the Sanhedrin court this is offset by being found innocent, first by Herod and then by Pilate. There is an explanation for the reason Pilate had Jesus thrashed. It was because this was the most severe punishment the Sanhedrin court could enforce. They chose instead to try to have Jesus put to death by Pilate. When the governor refuses they insist. He in turn inflicts the most severe punishment the Sanhedrin could have inflicted.
Pilate’s resolve to release Jesus is strong. He struggles within himself. As things come to a heated boil he calls up his cohort which is a force of eight hundred soldiers stationed at his headquarters. The chief priests have also assembled a large group of protesters who are on the verge of rioting. While Pilate has won in the courtroom battle he concedes the fight in the political arena when he is told that if he releases the Lord he is no friend to Caesar. Things come to a climax and rather than send his soldiers to slaughter the riotous protesters, he reluctantly sends Jesus to the cross to keep the peace.
This story uniquely points out that if Jesus had been accepted by the Jewish high court as the Messiah then he would have been crowned their king. That would have taken place at the Praetorium where Pilate ruled which is where the Lord was crowned, given a royal robe and a scepter, albeit in a gesture of mockery.
This novel shares a poorly known parallel historical event that occurs with Jesus’ march to Golgotha and death. There is a national Passover lamb that is sacrificed on that day. It is presented publicly at the Temple and paraded through the city of Jerusalem at noon. This is the same time Jesus is sent to Golgotha. The national lamb is sacrificed at three in the afternoon coinciding with the time of Jesus’ death. The cruel nature of both his thrashing and his crucifixion are described in detail. Rather than end the novel at the time of his death or burial this story continues on. There is a chapter that describes what would have taken place on Friday night and on Saturday the day of the Sabbath. It concludes at the point where the women are at the tomb again where they see the soldiers and there is a powerful earthquake.
PROOF OF LIFE: The Untold Story of Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension
Manuscript Length: 75,000 words
This novel overlaps with its prequel beginning Sunday with the women going to the tomb. There is an earthquake with flashes of light and Roman soldiers. The women fear the worst. They are told about the resurrection. The soldiers guarding the tomb go to the chief priests and there is a coverup. The chief priest Elamadad assures the soldiers that he will deal with Pilate and have them excused from wrong doing.
Jesus makes many appearances to his followers. These follow the biblical record and additionally there are encounters with others from the past. Jesus explains the prophecies that were fulfilled in his betrayal, trial, passion, death and resurrection to his apostles.
Thomas’ encounter is described in experiential detail. By touching the wounds of the Lord, he is mystically able to share with him in his suffering. As he places his hand inside Jesus’ wounded side he feels the warmth of his body, the rise and fall of his chest as he breathes, and his beating heart. Thomas feels like he is touching the heart of God. The apostles share part of this with him through a mystical communal experience.
In the second novel Joseph of Arimathea opened his home to the Lord’s mother, John and other followers after his burial. That would have been the night his household celebrated the Passover. In this novel after his resurrection Jesus visits Joseph’s home on the eve of the Sabbath and blesses them with his presence at their meal to honor them for the hospitality they provided. Jesus shares about the prophecies Joseph fulfilled by providing his tomb.
Jesus visits at the home of Lazarus in incognito. Mary greets him at the door. She washes his feet and realizes that this man’s feet are not at all dirty and they have an aroma to them. She makes the connection that this is the same aroma of the ointment she anointed Jesus’ feet once before. Then the Lord reveals himself to her. He visits with Lazarus’ family and explains that there is a parallel to their two deaths. The Lord delayed coming to deathly ill Lazarus and left them feeling abandoned. This is a parallel event to when Jesus felt abandoned by his Father and cried out, “Why have you forsaken me?” Jesus explains that God included them in his plan so that Jesus would know what the Father felt like when he turned a deaf ear to his Son on the cross.
The Lord visits with Peter and discusses the reason he had him bring the swords. Peter is feeling overwhelmed emotionally about being told to bring them and then stopped from fighting. Jesus explains that he knew Peter would fight to free him. He would have disobeyed instructions not to. The only thing that would work was to arm him, allow the fight and then stop it to get his point across. Peter heals from his emotional pain.
Jesus revisits the bleeding women who touched his garment. He gently touches her garment from behind until she notices and turns to see him. She invites him into her home. They reminisce about her healing physically and socially from her stigma. The story closes as Jesus journey’s with his apostles to the mountain where he ascends. Lastly, there are two men that appear and leave them with the promise of the second coming.