How does the Old Testament apply to us today? How does the Old Testament even relate to the New Testament? These are just two questions many Christians seem to bring up when discussing the first thirty-nine books of the Bible. While challenges may loom, there is a way to understand how it all works together. And thanks to the Christ-Centered Exposition series, we can observe how this is the case in the book of Exodus. Tony Merida takes us through Exodus, seeking to apply this narrative historically, theologically, Christologically, missiologically, and practically. For the most part, he achieves that.
Not taking an academic approach per se, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Exodus is written with a pastoral style. Tony Merida does a great job helping people understand the book of Exodus better, showing the theological, missiological, and practical applications of the book, yet at a few points he seems to run to Jesus too quickly.
Theological, Missiological, and Practical Application
Merida reiterates throughout this devotional commentary some themes weaved throughout Exodus. The Person and Character of God are at the forefront of this discussion. You can see throughout Exodus the question is raised “Who is your God?” From the plagues to Israel’s freedom, it is revealed the true God is the God of the Hebrews. This leads to God’s name “I AM” being another constant theme in the book (Merida 36) The character of God is on display as well in Exodus. We are told God is a sending, self-sufficient, and self-existent God (Merida 24-26).
Merida also takes a careful and thoughtful approach to application. He cautions us to beware of mere spiritualized application. The historicity of the Exodus was not just spiritual freedom (Merida 17). To neglect the physical needs is to evangelize with no social action. There is both a physical and spiritual aspect going on here (Merida 19), which drives home this slavery is a multi-layer slavery (Merida 12). It is wise to keep in mind that the physical without the spiritual misses the cross (Merida 19). We need to be caring for both our brother’s and sister’s physical needs and spiritual needs.
To Jesus Too Quickly?
I do believe Tony Merida succeeds in his mission to exalt Jesus in Exodus, but I do wonder if at some places, he makes a run to Jesus a little quickly without delving into the immediate literary context first. The section of the book I felt this came up most were in the first few chapters (covering Exodus 1-4). I thought there could have been a little more said about the original context before heading to Jesus and the New Testament. However, after those few chapters, it appears not to be as much of an issue.
Stating it succinctly, if you are looking an Old Testament Christ-centered resource for your library or for your devotions, I would recommend you pick this book up!
I received this book for free from B & H Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the resource.