A Violent Grace by Michael Card is a heartfelt and insightful look at the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The author starts by pointing out that many ministries have removed crosses and crucifixes from church buildings. Many are choosing to focus on the teachings of Jesus, while the crucifixion, perhaps the most important part of the story, is being ignored. The purpose of this book is to bring focus back to Jesus's sacrifice for His followers.
The author takes the reader from the temptation at the garden, the betrayal, the process of the crucifixion, to death, and then to His rising. Each chapter explains what happens accompanied by Bible verses. The beginning of each chapter has a sepia-toned illustration and the end of each chapter ends with a prayer, each of which pertains to the chapter.
Card provides historical information about Judaism and Rome during Jesus time. The content concerning the process of the crucifixion may be too detailed for some; however, I felt it was just enough to experience the event in my mind. The Bible verses referenced throughout this work, use the New International Version (NIV), so if the reader prefers a different translation it may be best to have it readily available.
Unfortunately, Card mistakes certain verses in Psalms and other Old Testament books as prophecy*. While fascinating parallels exist between the afflictions suffered by the many writers of Psalms with those of Jesus, they are not prophecies.
With that in mind, I still think that many will find the content of this book helpful in getting a fresh perspective on the crucifixion.
The Singer by Calvin Miller
The Beggar King by Dan Hamilton
The Passion of the Christ
The Last Temptation of Christ
*For more information about mistaken prophecies: