A Sign Contradicted: Essays on the Life of Christ
by John O'Neill
The whole point of this collection of twenty-two essays on the life of Jesus is to give the reader more information, not mentioned in the four gospels so that you might more readily experience, in your readings and reflections on these events, something of what others who were actually there with Jesus saw, heard and felt during each event. I use information from historical, archeological, medical and theological sources to “flesh out” these narratives, hoping to recapture a sense of being there with Jesus as He ministered to the people in first-century Palestine, accomplishing, through the horrors of His suffering and death, infinite expiation to His Father for our sins.
I’ve arranged the essays into four parts. The two essays of the first part depict the period from Jesus’ miraculous conception in His mother’s womb, through the joyful and perilous circumstances of His’ birth, early infancy and pre-adolescent life.
The twelve essays of the second part take us on six jouneys with Jesus though many of the significant events of His three-year public ministry throughout all of Palestine. Each essay strives to add all the more realism to the story by including details not contained in the gospels narratives, but literally were unearthed in later centuries.
The five essays in the powerful third part trace the horrors inflicted on Jesus during the solemn three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday: His Last Seder; His agony, betrayal and arrest in the garden of Gethsemane; His late-night trial before the Sanhedrin and subsequent beatings by the palace guards; His trial and sentencing by Pilate; His even crueler torture at the hands of Pilate’s Roman guards before carrying His crossbeam to the summit of Golgotha; His extremely cruel crucifixion and excruciating death; and, finally, the hasty interment of His body in a nearby tomb.
The fourth and final part concludes Jesus’ gospel story with three essays, which give a fuller explanation of the evangelists’ sketchy accounts about His resurrection, His post-resurrection appearances to His disciples, and His ascension to His Father.
- John O'Neill, April 2011
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