Faith Reading | Literary Spotlight

The Crucifixion

By Annette Spurr
the crucifixion

For New Zealand author Roger Taylor, writing a book was never something he had on his ‘must do’ list. But a vision placed on his heart in 2004 changed that, and ‘The Crucifixion, A Short Story’ was born.

The vision was that of Jesus Christ carrying his cross along a dusty street lined with jeering crowds, and hundreds of thousands of demonic beings circling overhead, celebrating what they perceived as a great victory over heaven.

Roger began making notes, and as he did, more and more of the story was revealed to him. There was the vision of the armies of heaven looking on but not allowed to intervene; the mighty Archangel Michael falling at God’s feet, broken at what he saw happening to Jesus on earth; the confrontation between Michael and Satan at the cross; and finally, the glorious sight of the vast armies of heaven being released, pouring out of heaven’s gates and heading to the cross.

Then, while on a police deployment to Bougainville, Papua New Guinea in late 2020, early 2021, Roger finished writing the book.

He recalls however, since the initial vision in 2004, being confronted with the thought, “What am I doing? Who am I to be re-writing the Easter story? Are you even allowed to do that? What will people think?”

What kept coming back to him though were two things. Firstly, has anyone ever written the story of Easter like this, from the perspective of our Father and the angels at the time? And secondly, it’s another opportunity to get out to the world the powerful message of God’s unquenchable love for us as sinners, and just why He allowed His son to bear such immense pain.

It’s that inspiring time immemorial message of hope: that God loves us all so much, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, that He would allow His only begotten son to die on a cross, so through Him we could come directly to the Father in prayer.

Told predominantly through the eyes of the mighty Archangel Michael, ‘The Crucifixion’ takes us on an emotional and hard-hitting journey through the events of Christ’s death as they run their horrific course.

As a result, The Crucifixion encompasses moments of deep sadness, raw emotion and unbridled anger, but ultimately that great moment of inspiration and joy we know so well. Once Roger started adding the growing number of mental pictures he had seen to the story, he began to fully realise what God and the angels must surely have been experiencing in heaven. He suggests that in having to stand by and watch while Jesus was humiliated, beaten, stripped naked, and ultimately tortured to death by mere men, must surely have stirred unimaginable grief and anger. How could it not? This was, after all their beloved creator, master, and king.

We often hear of the angels being referred to as God’s messengers and angelic warriors, but have we ever paused to consider what it meant for a true warrior, and not just any warrior, but a mighty, staunch, battle-hardened and powerful warrior such as Michael, to put aside his power, courage and loyalty to protect his divine master, and watch him die such a horrific, drawn-out death? Michael is described in the bible as the Archangel Michael, one of the Great Princes. He appears in the bible on several occasions, either directly in battle himself or leading heaven’s armies in battle.

These simply aren’t the sort of beings that would be at ease looking on unaffected at what was happening to their beloved Creator and King. It is entirely likely that, apart from Christ himself not calling on the angels for help, it was also necessary for the Father to instruct them not to intervene.

Roger grew up in Manurewa, a small suburb situated in the heart of South Auckland, New Zealand. He was raised in a Catholic family, and like many people born into religion, rebelled in his late teens, and from there led a somewhat ‘colourful’ life, until finding a genuine relationship with Christ in his early to mid 20’s. To grow up in South Auckland, you either had to have a very keen awareness of your surroundings, or you quickly developed one. It is to these humble beginnings that Roger credits his dry wit and down-to-earth attitude to most things in life. It’s also working in South Auckland as a young police officer and ultimately as a qualified Detective that gave Roger an unobstructed view of the darker side of life.

Having held various roles as a Detective in the New Zealand Police, Roger has witnessed the tragic and often disturbing results of serious crime and violence and the evil that is ever present in our world today. There isn’t too much he hasn’t seen, which includes on occasion interacting with and even praying over people appearing to be affected by demonic possession.

Roger now works in Family Harm intervention. After years of dealing with the tragic deaths of parents, children and cruelly even babies as a result of family violence, Roger is taking his experiences in this field as a Detective and applying them to bringing intervention and hope to struggling families, where fear and violence are entrenched, as opposed to always being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff and picking up the pieces.

It is with these varied experiences, and a long-standing interest in the ongoing battle between angels and demons, and their interaction with mankind, that Roger brings us this powerful new perspective on the Crucifixion story.

Although essentially a narrative, The Crucifixion is based on biblical events and references accounts directly recorded in the bible. Roger’s heart is to honour the sanctity of the Easter story, while opening hearts to what heaven was likely experiencing at the time. His hope in doing this is to lead even more people to understand and appreciate exactly what God and His Son went through, to show us their love for us and allow us to have a full and direct relationship with the Father through Christ.

Capturing the deep loving Father heart of God, not only for His son Jesus, but for us as human beings, Roger now invites us to join Michael as he embarks on this incredibly personal journey through the conflicting moments of incomprehensible suffering and yet ultimate triumph of Easter in ‘The Crucifixion, A Short Story’.

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