The good life for Joe ends suddenly when his wife and daughter die during a shootout between a small-time crook and the police. While the murderer (who also died in the shootout) should be suffering in hell, Joseph fully appreciates that there is no such place as hell – no cosmic maximum-security prison – as he puts it. As close as Joe can get to hell is a recurrent dream in which he is making his way through the netherworld looking for the culprit and his revenge. Joe’s path deviates when he meets a band of would-be revolutionaries who are convinced they have found the Messiah, the one who will lead the uprising against the hated Romans. Eventually, Joe encounters the Messiah and quickly determines that this is the one he will follow – Messiah or no. Joe boldly asserts (without understanding the implications) that he will walk through hell if that’s what is required. In fact, it is.