As published in Testimony Magazine, March/April Edition, 2018, reviewed by Dr. Darlene Witte-Townsend
The Soldier Who Killed a King was voted the top book in the biblical fiction category for 2017 by the Christian book service, Interviews and Reviews. Having recently read this book, it’s not difficult to see why. It plays like a high-stakes movie in your mind.
Canadian author, David Kitz, closely examines the events occurring between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and his resurrection a few days later. But we see all these events from a unique perspective—through the eyes of a Roman soldier.
This engaging, hard-hitting narrative is a distillation of Kitz’s study and prayer over a 50-year span, when as pastor, educator and Bible dramatist, he steeped himself in the wonder of this story. As a novelist, he reveals profound respect for the historical record through his characterization of Marcus Longinus, a Roman centurion who is unwillingly caught in the power struggles of the day. Furthermore, Kitz stays true to the scriptural account by integrating more than a hundred quotes from the Gospels into the story text.
Three corrupt men, Herod Antipas, “the Fox,” Pontius Pilate, “the Badger,” and Joseph Caiaphas, “the Weasel” have an insatiable lust for money and power. They each attempt to use the political tumult of the time for their own gain. In contrast to the stench of their machinations, Kitz offers a deep sense of Jesus, the donkey-riding King, as the man in whom all of heaven is invested. Jesus emerges in the Roman world offering an entirely new way for humankind to be reborn.
Above all else, this is a story of personal redemption. Marcus, the Roman Centurion is like us, caught between worlds. Who is his king? Why?
The Son of God shows unlimited compassion through healing the sick and feeding the hungry, and his purity catches the attention of the masses in a drama that still shakes the world, one aching, open, humble heart at a time. Do you need to rediscover the power of the cross? The Soldier Who Killed a King will take you there.