People in the Passion of Jesus

Roger Ellsworth

Precious Seed

Paperback, 96pp. Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ Price £5, ISBN 1-84625-061-3

Not since reading Andrew Borland’s book, Personalities at the Crucifixion, has the present reviewer read anything on the subject of people who were present at, or associated with, the crucifixion of the Lord. This book was developed from sermons preached by the author at Immanuel Baptist Church, Benton, Illinois, and the thirteen short chapters cover such characters as Caiaphas, Mary of Bethany, Judas Iscariot, Pilate and Barabbas, as well as others.

While the author’s style and aspects of his content may not appeal to every reader of this magazine, there is much that could lead to profitable meditation upon this most momentous of events. For example, Ellsworth comments upon the Roman soldiers, ‘The gambling of those soldiers was fleeting and temporary, but that which is represented by it is ongoing, namely, being so occupied with the trivial that we are oblivious to gigantic spiritual truths’. In the chapter on Judas Iscariot there is material that could form the basis of a gospel message. Similarly, in the section on Pilate there is a timely reminder that ‘believers in Christ are increasingly finding that the authorities are not so much interested in the right as they are in the many, united, loud, persistent voices of hatred’. In the closing pages of the book the author points us onward to the time when ‘the bodies of all Christians will be raised to eternal glory. And those Christians who are alive at that time will be caught up to meet them in the air’.

Apart from the issues raised above, this is a book that could stimulate study and provide material to convict sinners, challenge saints, and encourage them to worship.