Book Title: Jerusalem’s Hope
Authors: Bodie and Brock Thoene
Synopsis: In this last installment of the Zion Legacy series, the Thoenes pick up once again with the three orphan boys who were healed by Yeshua in The Stones of Jerusalem. Yeshua gives Avel, Ha-or Tov, and Emet the enigmatic instructions to go to Bethlehem to Zadok, who is the chief shepherd of the flock at Migdal Eder, deliver to Zadok a message, and stay there until Yeshua arrives. Yeshua indicates that they have much to learn from Zadok and that ” [t]he lamb is the key to understanding Torah” (12). Of course, the boys immediately set out, and when they arrive at Migdal Eder (the Tower of the Flock), they are welcomed by the gruff but loving Zadok and taken in as apprentice shepherds. While learning the ways of the shepherd and the sheep, the boys, especially Emet, learn the true meaning of redemption and the secret of the lamb. The other strand of the story (with the Thoenes, there are always at least two stories) is the discontent of the Jews under the rule of the Romans. The common people are particularly angry because of the use of Korban funds (those set aside for a specific temple purpose) to fund the building of a Roman aqueduct. Tempers are rising, and the rebel faction, led by bar Abba (read: Barabbas), are eager to use the discontent to their advantage. What many, especially the righteous members of the Sanhedrin like Nakdimon (read: Nicodemus) and Gamaliel, want to know is how will Yeshua figure into all of this? This novel heads toward a very climactic ending, but the true denouement happens only when Yeshua appears in the end and ties up all the loose ends and reveals the true identity of Zadok.
My Thoughts: How many times have I already said how much I love these books? Oh my. They are truly beautiful. The Thoenes do a superb job of showing a change in Marcus Longinus. The once proud and self-assured Roman centurion is now all but a follower of Yeshua and not so certain at all any longer that Rome is always right. And the story of the orphans is purely a picture of the human condition and how Yeshua cares for each of us. What I really love, too, is how suddenly Biblical characters whom I had previously seen as one-dimensional have suddenly come to life for me. Nakdimon, for example, now lives and breathes in my mind as a widowed father of many children who misses his wife horribly but serves on the Sanhedrin devotedly because he feels it is his God-ordained duty. The most beautiful parts of this novel are the first and last chapters; they are the ones in which Yeshua appears. All I can say is that I read both with tears in my eyes.