Although, I personally believe that we sleep until Jesus return when He calls us from the grave...I loved this account of the Lazarus story. It was moving enough that I could put aside my view on death as a sleep (authors believe we go directly to heaven) and enjoy the way Jesus touched the lives of those He lived with while on this earth.
The historical background of traditions, ways they tended vineyards, the rules for slave owning etc was all fascinating. This made the story come alive and be real for me. But the best part was how Jesus talked naturally to those He met and those who became His followers and friends. This book brought well known parables into the story in ways that Jesus could have used them to help specific people. I loved reading how Jesus transformed lives from harlots, to revengeful slaves to prideful wealthy land owners.
The way Jesus worked in each life in this story brought tears to my eyes and helped me realize how much He loves each of us today. There is a character who held hatred in his heart and yet he was able to show another man how to turn away from revenge to love. Later Jesus gently shows the character that he himself still has hatred for an enemy that is poisoning his own soul. It really spoke to me about how we all have choices each day in big and small ways to choose Jesus.