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Reliving the Passion

by Walter Wangerin

No sto­ry has more sig­nif­i­cance than this: the death and res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus. But some­how the oft-repeat­ed tale of Christ’s pas­sion can become too famil­iar, too for­mal­ized, for us to expe­ri­ence its incred­i­ble imme­di­a­cy. The med­i­ta­tions in Reliv­ing the Pas­sion, which received a Gold Medal­lion Award in 1993, fol­low the sto­ry as giv­en in the gospel of Mark―from the moment when the chief priests plot to kill Jesus to the Res­ur­rec­tion. But these read­ings are more than a recount­ing of events; they are an imag­i­nary reen­act­ment, lead­ing the read­er to re-expe­ri­ence the Pas­sion or per­haps see it ful­ly for the very first time. As only a great sto­ry­teller can, Wal­ter Wan­gerin enables the read­er to see the sto­ry from the inside, to dis­cov­er the strange­ness and won­der of the events as they unfold. It’s like being there. In vivid images and rich­ly per­son­al detail, Wan­gerin helps us rec­og­nize our own faces on the streets of Jerusalem; breathe the dark and heavy air of Gol­go­tha; and expe­ri­ence, as Mary and Peter did, the bewil­der­ment, the chal­lenge, and the ulti­mate rev­e­la­tion of know­ing the man called Jesus. The sto­ry gets per­son­al for every read­er,” writes Wan­gerin, for this is indeed our sto­ry, the sto­ry where­by we per­son­al­ly have been saved from such a death as Jesus died. No, there is not anoth­er tale in the world more mean­ing­ful than this―here is where we all take our stands against sin and death and Satan, upon this his­tor­i­cal, his­toric event. I con­sid­er it a holy priv­i­lege to par­tic­i­pate in it retelling. Read this book slow­ly. Read it with a see­ing faith. Walk the way with Jesus. We, his fol­low­ers of lat­er cen­turies, do fol­low even now. Read, walk, come, sigh, live. Live! Rise again!”

1992

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