Heaven, How I Got Here is one of the most enjoyable books that I have read in a while. Colin Smith does an excellent job of helping the reader think through the events of Jesus' last day on earth from the perspective of the thief on the cross. The book is a great idea, and is very well done. I recommend it to anyone desiring to think through the events of the cross in a fresh way.
You might ask how it is possible to write an entire book from the perspective of someone that we know so little about. That was my question when I first heard about the book. The book begins with a short chapter imagining what the thief's life must have been like as a child growing up in a Jewish family under Roman occupation. This helps set the stage for the rest of the book.
Each chapter is then identified by a time of day, beginning with breakfast and ending up in heaven with Jesus. I found this approach to be really helpful in thinking through the events of Jesus' last day. The thief's perspective is an interesting one that ought to be given adequate consideration.
One thing that I expected when I picked up this book is that it would be filled with a lot of conjecture. Since we don't know a lot about the thief, I figured the author would have to make up a lot of stuff to write a book on his experiences that falls just short of 100 pages. That is not the case at all. Smith masterfully weaves what we do know together with some things that we can be almost certain about. The book should not really be characterized as historical fiction. It tells a real story in a very accurate way.
Finally, the thing I loved most about the book was the way it proclaims the gospel. It is as if the thief on the cross were sharing the gospel with you from heaven as you read the book. While he would not have understood all of the things he shares when still on the cross, the setting is not the cross but heaven. He is writing from a fuller knowledge of the gospel. The writer masterfully uses the entire New Testament to share the message of the gospel from the thief's perspective.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. I hope to make use of some of it in our Maundy Thursday service at church. You can purchase the book here.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as a part of the Cross-Focused Reviews Program.