5 Stars Out Of 5
June 27, 2013
It is late as I pen these words. The light should have been long turned out but I'm afraid I won't be able to call it a night with these thoughts pressing in my mind and begging for release after turning the last page of Lee's Iscariot. The first thought that honestly came to mind was: I'll not be taking this journey again anytime soon. It took me one transforming month to go through it and let me warn you that this mere, five star review does not do the book justice. I was not even planning on reading Iscariot at first, until I saw the trailer and a question the author asked ringed in my head: Would I have done the same as Judas?
Scandalous, tenebrous, yet nonetheless grandly written, Iscariot is a masterpiece that unfolds through the broken pieces of hearts, transcending even my wildest comprehension of what we call the Gospel. It refuses to be limited by religious barriers. It is unlimited, restless and wild in its search for peace. It challenges the reader time and time again and you will not be able to avoid the questions it asks. Tosca Lee proves with this work that she is a force to be reckoned with in Christian fiction.
The Judas presented in this novel is a man who constantly wrestles with doing his or God's will. A strict follower of the law, a man starving for the approval of others, of someone, of God, he suddenly throws all caution to the wind when he chooses to follow a mysterious Man, desperately seeking for a sign that The Lord has not abandoned him. Rumour has it that this Jesus is the Messiah. Elation and fear both claim Judas as he beholds what no man in Israel has seen before. Miracles ranging from healing the sick, to calling the dead, the demon-possessed out of the mouth of captivity. Desperation, confusion and pain are Judas and the disciples' companions many days. The Son of man comes, wreaking havoc in every last piece of security and sanity they were hanging on to in trying to do the right thing, and giving no hint as to what He is about to accomplish, Jesus simply tells the disciples to follow him. Judas feels torn between his loyalty to this new Lord, his family, the law. He constantly reasons within himself : I am unclean. My past is unclean, my heart is unclean, following this man, according to the law, is unclean.... but this is where freedom is. Where Love is. Where this manner of Man named Jesus is. An unpredictable man. A man carrying more sorrows than any man should ever be allowed. Oh- so- needed according to Judas, who refers to him as His greatest friend. Jesus is compassion. Jesus reaches out and understands, but He's also as dangerous as fire. He is danger, repeatedly thinks Iscariot as the disciples carry him away from crowds ready to stone him, because of his parables and brazen words. Yet in the midst of the pain, confusion and dizziness, to the bone-weary followers He constantly asks : Do you love me? This question among many other elements in the story sprung to my eyes like tears many times. Iscariot is a battle between Heaven and Hell. Between the destiny and the destined. Between my will and His. A love story forgotten but brought back to life. A story between Him and me.
Exceptional writing. Funny moments many times throughout, and overall a very powerful tale.