The last of a trilogy of books presenting the life of Christ, The Messiah focuses on Jesus' adult years. It seems to take the stories from the pages of the gospels and present them in 3-D, showing us in a moving, living form what sort of man Jesus really was. He struggles with real emotions, and the book is quite suggestive of ways that the nitty-gritty aspects of mundane life might have been dealt with by one who is above and beyond all that this world holds.
The Messiah overlaps Biblical material more than the two earlier volumes in the series, Two from Galilee and Three from Galilee, do. It makes forays into the extended family of Jesus, and how he might have interacted with them. It presents him amongst his many friends, moving about in the roles of rabbi, healer, and ultimately martyr. For this reason, it is probably my favorite of the three books.
Holmes is a good writer, and tells the old story very well. It's not an easy thing to package such a familiar tale in a way that makes it feel fresh and worth reading all over again. It is quite an accomplishment, but it is exactly what Holmes has achieved.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2010