Monday, December 31, 2012

Iscariot by Tosca Lee

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.

But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous entry into a career and family life as a devout Jew, to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself that forces us all to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

Iscariot by Tosca Lee is a poignant and stirring novel of Judas, Jesus, and the tumultuous events that surround them. The novel follows Judas through his heartbreaking childhood that Judas feels is all his fault. Judas struggles to ever feel clean of guilt, shame, and sin. He is swept up in seeing John the Baptist and then begins to find the truth in Jesus' teachings. But as he learns more about Jesus, his way of thinking is threatened, and he does not understand what Jesus' true goal is.

Iscariot truly made me think about and ponder what it would have been like to be Judas and how hard it would have been to be a disciple of Jesus. The novel paints a startling picture of what the men would have experienced as they left everything they had to follow a man that seemed bent on seeing them killing by the religious leaders and estranging them all 'good company'. I was forced to really focus on what it would have been like to watch Jesus seemingly fall apart as he became more and more withdrawn and alienated himself from the religious leaders and the crowds as the time for his death drew closer. Iscariot beautifully laid out the Judas' reasoning for his betrayal of Jesus and how even he potentially did not realize what he had done until after the fact. For the first time I found myself sympathizing with Judas and pitying him for missing out on the true meaning of Jesus' birth and death. As Judas' end drew near, I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and stop him before he missed out on the chance for true life and salvation.

Overall, Iscariot by Tosca Lee was a truly convicting and stunningly well written story that brought to light new thoughts and feelings for me about the life and actions of Judas. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a dramatic, thought provoking read that will leave you weeping at the close.

I received this eBook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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