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More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.
Lucado's understated homiletical style has propelled sales of more than 15 million books and made him the first author to win three Gold Medallion awards for Christian Book of the Year (Just Like Jesus, 1999; In the Grip of Grace, 1997; and When God Whispers Your Name, 1995). His loyal following will in no way be disappointed with this latest offering, which focuses on the "gifts" of the cross, including the soldiers' spit, the crown of thorns, the nails, the wine-soaked sponge, the burial garments and Pilate's sign identifying Jesus as the King of the Jews. Each of these tragic objects teaches Christians something about the nature of God, says Lucado. The wine-soaked sponge, for example, offered when Jesus spoke of his thirst while dying on the cross, demonstrates how God through Jesus took on the entire human experience, complete with its suffering. "To take on our sins is one thing, but to take on our sunburns, our sore throats? To experience death, yesDbut to put up with life?" God did this so that his followers would fully trust him, Lucado explains, and know that their pain was understood. Lucado uses good humor and everyday situations (such as coping with road rage) to bring his points home. His skill in highlighting even the smallest detail of the crucifixion scene will prove an epiphany for many readers. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.