Tag: resurrection

I Know My Redeemer Lives

Job 19:21-27

Job had lost nearly everything: all his children, most of his servants, his assets were nonexistent, his wife told him just to curse God and die, his closest friends said it was all his fault that God was punishing him. Job was basically a wreck, reduced to the depths of despair and discouragement. Listen to how one author has retold Job’s complaint recorded at the beginning of Chapter 19: The Message

This generation is hopeless – no one listens to me (v.7) – the best for which I can hope is that if my testimony is permanently recorded, perhaps some future generation will understand I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. From Job’s perspective it is the world against him alone, even God is against him – verses 8-13, pronoun He refers to God! Verse 21-22, It is God who has struck him, who is persecuting him. Job was convinced that God in his Providence was behind all that Job was experiencing, but even with the help of his friends he was absolutely unable to answer the question “Why?”

You might think that Job had an over-inflated view of himself and his personal righteousness. But listen to God’s opinion of that, expressed twice – Job 1:8;2:3

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.”

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil. He still retains his integrity, even though you incited Me against him, to destroy him without just cause.”

God was not punishing Job for sinful behavior, Job was an upright man and to destroy him would have been unjust. There was a different reason for Job’s treatment, but more of that later.

When all you have, like Job, is questions and not answers, confusion and no clarity, darkness with no sense of direction, when you feel awful and smell awful and everything you touch goes wrong, when you have no hope that it will ever get better, what do you do? Let us consider what God’s blameless and upright servant Job did to find relief from his despair.

A. knowledge

When Job could go no lower, when it felt like there was no way out, Job turned his attention to the concrete things that he knew to be true. This is not only the turning point of the story of Job but also of his experience.

But how could Job be so certain of what he had not seen? What basis did he have for declaring so boldly and confidently “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives”?

1. as one whom God termed “my servant”, the internal witness of God Himself

2. confidence built on years of relationship – God proving himself faithful to Job over and over

3. the promise made to Eve in the Garden – the one who would crush the serpent’s head

4. the translation of Enoch – leaving this life without dying

5. God’s preservation of Noah and family in the Ark

6. the witness of every sacrifice Job offered, all of which pointed toward the ultimate Redeemer

7. the word and works of God as communicated by oral tradition before time of Moses

B. nature of God

he is Redeemer

not simply a redeemer but my redeemer

a personal God who relates to individuals

not just one who could deliver, or who delivers some, but the one who would deliver Job

the words of personal faith in a personal Savior

he is living

the living One and the source of all life

the One who is, transcending time and space

“the one who lives and was dead and now lives forevermore” Rev. 1:18

“the resurrection and the life” John 11:25

he is involved

he lives and he will stand on the earth

not a remote disinterested uninvolved deity who left his creatures to their own devices

he will vindicate his people

stand as judge over all people – Acts 17:31

he is real

Job would

see God

see for himself

eyes shall behold

not simply an idea, a construction of collective imaginations

or a force that can be appropriated

a living being who can be seen by those who love him

physically in the person of Jesus Christ – in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily

spiritually – with the eyes of faith

at present God seemed to be hiding himself from Job’s view; Job anticipated the time when he would be able to see God as his friend, a time for which he longed intensely

C. divine revelation

there will be a bodily resurrection

after my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh I will see God”

perhaps Job was speaking more than he understood; that happened often in Old Testament times

words clearly indicate confidence in bodily existence after death and decay

there will be conscious existence

Job will see God and know that he was seeing God

Job will know that it was God he is seeing and not someone else

Job will know that he has been vindicated by his Redeemer – he will stand [in judgment] and it will be a just judgment

graciously and divinely revealed

to Job by God’s Spirit

at this point in redemptive history – probably no written Scriptures, certainly no resurrected Savior

concept of resurrection not absent from Old Testament but full clarity only came after the first Easter morning

at Job’s lowest point God graciously revealed to him the truth he needed most

to us by God’s Word

God could have left us with only the vague shadowy hints of a resurrection found in the OT

instead we have the witness of the Gospel accounts reinforced by the rest of the NT

for those of us a little slow to catch on, we have 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul connects all the dots: our future resurrection is made possible and guaranteed by Jesus’ resurrection and his empty tomb

D. proper response Job 42:1-6

Job was granted the grace of seeing God, at least with the eyes of faith. He responded in Chapter 42.

As we with the eyes of faith accompany the women to the sepulchre, then turn away from the empty place and come face to face with the risen Christ, how do we respond?

If we respond like Job, we will say:

I have seen God, I have seen myself. I recognize and acknowledge God’s great glory and my great need. I turn from my pride and my idols to worship the Risen Christ.

I have seen the glory of God’s love and justice and mercy meet at the Cross. I have seen the glory of God’s power at the empty tomb. I have seen the glory of God’s grace in the face of Christ as he says: “It was for you that I died.” Take my life, my all, use me as an instrument of your grace to lead others to worship the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When the Lord, the righteous Judge, stands on the earth on that last day, what will he give to you? Will he give you a crown of righteousness because you are his by faith? Or will he give you a writ of condemnation and say “Depart from me; I never knew you.” If Christ and his righteousness is not the root of your confidence, if you have not placed your trust in him as your Savior, do it now while there is still time.

He Is Going Before You

Matthew 28:1-8

Scripture Reading John 20:1-10

Scripture Reading Luke 24:1-12

Scripture Reading Matthew 28:1-8

It is common for us to refer to Jesus’ ride to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as his “Triumphal Entry”, and it does have many aspects of triumph. God’s Anointed finally recognized by the multitude of people for who he really was, honored as a conquering king who comes in peace and bringing peace to his countrymen. All that remains to complete the picture is for the King to assert his rule from the throne of his father David, delivering his people from their Gentile oppressors.

Yet Jesus’ real march of victory, his coronation processional which would end with him standing at his Father’s right hand in glory, began with an earthquake the following Sunday, on that first Easter morning. Having descended to the very lowest point of his humiliation, Jesus commenced his ascent to the place of authority from where he presently rules over his kingdom. In a very real sense, Jesus not only went before his disciples to Galilee, he has gone before us all the way from the grave to glory. From the depths of suffering and humiliation to the heights of blessing and honor.

A. Saving the lost came at great cost

Death could not hold him

He did not escape the experience of death – Jesus had to really die – the wages of sin

Because Jesus fulfilled the law, kept it in perfectly every point, and satisfied its demands on behalf of his people, the law had no further claim on him.

The union between human soul and body was dissolved at death but the union between God and man in Jesus remained intact. Thus he could raise himself from the dead once God’s demands for justice were completely satisfied.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18

The grave could not contain him

Graves are for the dead, not the living Luke 24:5

For the grave to have victory (1 Cor. 15:55) the one buried must remain dead.

Outside forces did not release Jesus from the grave, he himself broke its power with the force of an earthquake

His enemies could not prevail against him

The stone over the entrance, the seals placed on it by religious leaders and Praetorium guards were as nothing.

Carefully hatched plots to end the threat to the status quo were shattered and rendered utterly useless by an empty tomb

Guards, insensitive to the brutalities of crucifixion, were reduced to abject fear and trembling as the great God of glory walked out of the grave.

B. Winning the battle brought great reward

There is life after death

We glibly assert our belief in life after death, here and now isn’t all there is, death isn’t the end of it.

Jesus demonstrated that he had purchased real life for those united to him

“he is going before you” “you will see him”

Later he would walk and talk with his disciples, prepare and eat a meal with them – genuine physical existence – different from before but no less real

Dust is not our final destiny

Dust we are and to dust we will return (Gen. 3:19) but we will not remain dust.

Just as Jesus was raised bodily from the grave, so will we experience bodily resurrection; our return to dust is only temporary.

Although our bodies will experience corruption, decay, in the grave, our new bodies will have the same characteristics as Jesus’ post-resurrection body.

Our enemies will not overcome us

Jesus’ victory over sin and death guarantees victory for us.

His victory does not eliminate conflict for us, it does not mean there will be no battles.

It does mean that we will not be overcome in battle by Satan, sin and death. “Greater is he that is in you…” 1 John 4:4

It means that Jesus is going before us in battle, calling the shots, defending us from the enemy, working all things out for our good and his glory.

C. Because He is going before us

He is a sympathetic High Priest

Jesus has already been through our experience – he was tested in every respect just like us (Heb. 4:15)

He is equipped both by divine knowledge and human experience to show us the right kind of compassion

When Jesus says “I feel your pain” we know that it is genuinely sincerely true and he can do something about our pain

He is showing us the way

Jesus is our forerunner – the one going before, the advance Man

He has traveled the full distance from birth to death and beyond, showing us both the path and how to travel it

His example recorded in Scripture teaches us how to approach life and death, how to rely on our Heavenly Father for strength and guidance in all things

He is leading us on to glory

Full experience of glory, the glory of God seen face to face with unhindered vision, is reserved for eternity. That is the ultimate goal toward which Christ is leading his captives, the saints.

There is a glory which we experience now, which Christ gives us as we are changed into his image, as the original image of God once defaced by sin is restored in us. (John 17:22; 2 Cor. 3:18)

The effect of that present glory is to unite us in fellowship with other believers in such a dramatic way that the world sees the Gospel pictured before them. (John 17:23)

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the essence of what makes Biblical religion different from all others – Remember what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died, was buried and rose again according to the Scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3-4) Be comforted, strengthened and encouraged that our Savior “is risen as he said”; “he has risen from the dead and is going before you”.