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The Blood Gospel

The Blood Gospel

Description : The Blood Gospel
Spring, AD 73

Masada, Israel

The dead continued to sing.

Three hundred feet above Eleazar’s head, the chorus of nine hundred Jewish rebels rang out in defiance of the Roman legion at their gates. The defenders had sworn to take their own lives rather than be captured. Those final prayers, chanted to Heaven on high, echoed down to the tunnels below, carved out of the heart of the mountain of Masada.

Abandoning the doomed men to their bitter sunlight, Eleazar tore his gaze from the roof of the limestone passageway. He wished that he could chant beside them, that he could give up his own life in a final battle. But his destiny lay elsewhere.

Another path.

He gathered the precious block into his arms. The sun-warmed stone stretched from his hand to his elbow, the length of a newborn baby. Cradling the stone block against his chest, he forced himself to enter the rough-hewn passage that sliced into the heart of the mountain. Masons sealed the way behind him. No living man could follow.

The seven soldiers who apanied him forged ahead with torches. Their thoughts must still be with their brothers, the nine hundred above on the sun-scoured plateau. The stronghold had been under siege for months. Ten thousand Roman soldiers, split into enormous camps, surrounded the mesa, ensuring no one could leave or enter. The rebels had vowed, when their chant wasplete, to take the lives of their families and then their own, before the Romans overran their walls. They prayed and readied themselves to kill the innocent.

As must I.

Eleazar’s task weighed upon him as heavily as the stone in his arms....