What happened Easter week? How did Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod all end up together to determine the fate of Jesus? Why the middle of the night trials? Why was Judas even needed to find Jesus? Did Jesus really die? And did he really rise from the dead?
Frank Morison as the subtitle declares was a skeptic. He was so skeptical of the resurrection of Jesus that he set out to write a book about how Jesus did not rise and the claims of Christianity were false. He set out to write “The Book That Refused To Be Written”. The more he researched, the more he pondered the facts he collected, the more tried to disprove the resurrection, the more he became convinced of the opposite.
Yet this is more than a typical treatise on the resurrection, arguing that the disciples weren’t hallucinating, the empty tomb and other arguments. Though there is time given to the questions that surround the empty tomb, what separates this book from others in my opinion is Morison’s treatment of Easter week.
Morison does not accept at face value the events leading up to the crucifixion and therefore does not write superficially about the arrest and trials. He will dig. He will ask why was Judas needed? There was plenty of time before the Garden of Gethsemane. Why pay him a seeming pittance for the night brigade he would lead? Morison asks how much time did he take? Why not do it right after Palm Sunday in Bethany when no one was looking?
Why a trial at night? Was it illegal? What were the Pharisees really afraid of? He keeps delving and poking and asking. He will share some marvelous insights into the trial and how Caiaphas takes it in a risky unorthodox direction to snag the evidence that alluded him repeatedly in the early part of the trial.
He will ask about Pilate and conclude that this was not the Pilate that we encounter in documented confrontations with the Jews throughout his time in Judea. He is rough, gruff and not very tactful. More like a bull in a china closet. So how can this account of him be true to character? His explanations are insightful. They delighted me!
Morison is at his finest as he weaves the night tale of the interactions behind the scenes. His speculations breathe life into the time between Gethsemane and Pilate’s washing his hands of the matter.
I highly recommend this book to you. First published in 1930 it has sold over 150,000 copies. In the current paperback (seen above) there is a forward by Lee Strobel, author of “The Case for Christ” and “The Case for Faith”. His preface assures us that this book is not somehow out of date but still quite relevant for today’s skeptics and seekers. As a believer in Christ I found the book to be an excellent read especially in the timeline I mentioned above. That part alone is worth the price of the publication!
(Available in Paperback and in Kindle download at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Moved-Stone-Frank-Morison/dp/0310295610 )
Added 3/29/2013 Book in html format online http://www.gospeltruth.net/whomovedthestone.htm#3 !