Book Review: Redemption by Mike Wilkerson

Christians sometimes have an odd relationship with the Old Testament. Some simply avoid it, due to its particularly nasty depiction of humanity (well deserved at that). Others moralize it, treating everything as an object lesson. “David overcame his giant, what’s yours,” and that sort of thing. And still others seek to discover where the Old Testament bears witness to Christ. as He Himself said it did (cf. John 5:39; Luke 24:13-35). From the first word of Genesis to the last word of Malachi, it’s all about Jesus.

That includes the exodus. This momentous event in the history of the Jewish people became the archetype of God’s saving work as the writers of Scripture in both Testaments referenced it again and again. Indeed, Pastor Mike Wilkerson writes, “When it comes to understanding redemption, the key back story in the Bible is the exodus” (p. 33). But what does the Exodus tell us about Jesus—and how does reading it help me, practically?  In Redemption, Wilkerson offers thoughtful answers as he examines the exodus account and shows us how through it Jesus frees us from the shame of sin and the futility of idolatry.

The challenge with many books of this nature is that it’s very easy for solid, biblical answers to some of life’s toughest questions to ring hollow.

“If God is really good, why did this happen to me?”

“Why does God feel so far away?”

“I thought this addiction was behind me—why does it keep coming back?”

“Do I really have to forgive him?”

“Am I destined to be alone for the rest of my life?”

Our anger at others, our anger at God, our frustration over besetting sin… these are not subjects handled lightly. It’s easy to say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” but what do you do when you have a stepfather who treated you as something less than human (see Sarah’s story, pp. 41-53)? In a situation like that, it’s difficult to see God’s love, despite the reality that “whether our misery is big or small, we all find ourselves under the fountain of God’s mercy” (p. 43). [Read more...]