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  • Pastor Jason

Finding Jesus: Job

If you're following the reading I offered HERE, then you're in the middle of the second half of Job this week. One of the "fun" things for me to do when reading the Old Testament (OT) is to keep an eye out for the surprising places Jesus shows up. During his earthly ministry, Jesus said (Luke 24:44)...

...everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.

This is generally understood to be Jesus claiming that the entirety of what we now call the OT speaks and points to him; a key part of our understanding of Jesus as the messiah is based on his fulfillment of OT teaching. If that's the case, then we should be able to find Jesus popping up in some surprising and unexpected places. As Christians, this is significant for how we engage with the OT.

In the story of Job, Jesus pops up in Job 16:19-21 (and considering scholars believe Job to be the first Biblical book actually written, that makes this a very early reference to Jesus!)...

Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.

In context, Job is struggling/wrestling with the question of why God has allowed all these things to happen to him. We've all been in a place where we feel like we've been kicked ot the ground, and when we're there, all we want is relief, but we often need someone else to help us get that relief. Although Job is surrounded by his closest friends, they have taken to accusing him of sinning, and therefore what is happening is punishment for his unconfessed sin; rather than help in his healing and relief, his friends are adding to his pain. Job needs a different advocate, and different intercessor.

Despite his insistence that all his suffering is God's fault, Job still recognizes that only God can also bring healing. It's from this place that he utters these messianic words...words that are later echoed or affirmed by Paul in Romans 8:34...

Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died - more than that, who as raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

In a weird chronological way, even though Job was. likely the first book written, Job's life and story plays out after the events depicted in the early chapters of Genesis, including the very first promise of a savior in Genesis 3:15. Job knew of the promise of a savior, but like Abraham was simply hanging by faith that this was true. And in chapter 16, Job is faithful and bold enough to say, "Even though I believer that God is responsible for all this and that I'm completely innocent of any wrong-doing that deserve what is happening, I also believe that only God can fix it, and that my one, true intercessor is already pleading my case. And on THAT belief, I stand firm!"

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