Empty Tomb.jpgIf you live anywhere near the upper Midwest, you know we have been pummeled by winter. Yes, this winter cannot end too soon for many of us. I know my friends in the South and East coast have had it too.

Since it still seems like mid-January in my backyard, I know I was shocked that Daylight Savings Time begins this week, and even more surprised that Ash Wednesday, the  beginning of Lent (40 days before Easter) begins this week too. Where has that time gone?!

With Easter just around the corner, you might be interested in a new book about the passion of Jesus and Holy week. Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection by Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile was released just a little over a month ago and may be just what will get you ready for this Easter season.

The Bottom Line

First, this short book is only five chapters and about 100 pages long–certainly not a difficult read at all in it’s size. It’s perfect to read a chapter a week until Easter.  Each chapter is based on a Scripture reference, and I have given a brief description as follows:

Sculpture in the Garden of Gethsemane ~ Jerusalem 2012

Sculpture in the Garden of Gethsemane ~ Jerusalem 2012

1. Is There No Other Way? (Matthew 26:42) ~ Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
2. Why Have You Forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:45-46) ~ Christ forsaken – darkness falls
3. Where, O Death, Is Your Victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55) ~ Jesus’ death and the power of the resurrection
4. Why Do You Look for the Living among the Dead? (Luke 24:5) ~Women at the tomb on the first Easter Sunday
5. Do You Know These Things? (Luke 24:17) ~ On the road to Emmaus

Second, the content of these chapters are rich and meaningful. Pastor Anyabwile really does more than an ordinary look at the events leading to the death and ultimately resurrection of Christ.  He brings his reader into the scene and the emotion of these events and leaves them to contemplate the significance to their faith and application to their life.
Some may not like his style of posing questions or considering possible thoughts or feelings of the subjects of the story surrounding

Door Garden Tomb  ~ Jerusalem 2012

Door Garden Tomb ~ Jerusalem 2012

the passion of Christ.  However, I found Pastor Anyabwile’s style to be thought provoking. It offered me a new perspective on very familiar events. He really did get me to take a closer look at what Jesus has done for us all.  I believe this is a sign of an excellent Bible teacher!

Finally, he offered some excellent questions at the end of his chapters.  I think you could easily use these questions for devotional journaling or for some in-depth discussion with a group.  This really helped take the material to a different level.

I found this to be a rich and powerful book.  It does not take you through all aspects of the Easter story, but it does take you to a deeper level in all that you read.  I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars out of five.

 Captivated CoverBook Description

The Bible implores us to take a long look at Jesus, forcefully beckoning us to come and see through profound questions connected with Jesus death and resurrection. These questions drive us to consider not just the events themselves but also their meaning as we take a long look beneath the surface and find more of the never-ending treasures of Christ. In Captivated, Thabiti Anyabwile invites you to set aside your early lessons on politeness and stare (yes, do stare) into the mystery of the cross and empty tomb.

Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (January 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601783000
ISBN-13: 978-1601783004
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Retail Price: $10.00

Available at these retailers for less


Reformation Heritage

About the AuthorThabiti M Anyabwile

Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands.

“I love the Lord because He first loved me. I love His people because He has given me a new heart. I have received God’s favor in the form of my wife, Kristie. And together we know His blessing through three children. I was once a Muslim, and by God’s grace I have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. By God’s unfathomable grace I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in which I hope to serve Him until He returns or calls me home!”

Pastor Anyabwile has written or co-authored many other titles that you can find on his Amazon Author Page.

Captivated Trail

Notice: I received a complimentary e-book for an honest review of this title through Shaun Tabatt at  Cross-Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage