This significant book, written a few years before his death, presents Ellul's fullest understanding of the meaning of Jesus' life. One finds all of the major themes of Ellul's writings. The first half of this book deals with Jesus' sufferings, which are by no means limited to Good Friday. Through Jesus' identification with "the whole human condition," we are offered the possibility of both enduring and overcoming suffering.
Similarly, the temptations are understood beyond the wilderness temptation narrative since Jesus experiences them throughout his ministry. Ellul believes temptations are ultimately human avenues for tempting God, and so focuses on the discussion power and "non-power," be it on personal or political levels. Appropriately, Ellul enters into the passion narrative not simply in the context of suffering but in the context of temptation, where Jesus could have easily "proved his divinity," but chose instead to reveal both the character and way of God.