Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Tale of the Penitent Thief" by Don Willis

When Christ was crucified, he was hung between two criminals. Though innocent, Jesus stayed on the cross, forgiving as He died. What if you were a witness? What if you were one of the two thieves hanging beside Him? Would you think you should be forgiven?

In this engaging work of fiction, Dismas and Jotham were brothers who started off right. They even have the opportunity to meet Mary and Joseph before Jesus was born. But, as people do, the boys made choices as they grew up that would change their lives. Sadly, those choices were not good ones. Influenced by two criminals, Tiran and Gestas, they become involved in acts that would one day pit them against each other in a battle for life. Nothing dissuades Dismas from his criminal choices, and he is hung on a cross beside Jesus after being sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate. Is Dismas the thief who realizes who Jesus is and asks for forgiveness, or is he the scoffer? Will he learn about the ultimate forgiveness, or simply die alone?

This is a wonderful book. As a christian, I have often thought of the two thieves - how one could believe and the other continue to deny. Don Willis puts his readers into the lives of his characters and shows what leads up to that moment of decision. It is well written and interesting to read. I highly recommend it. I received my review copy from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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