Like Job, like Jesus

jesus-210754_640Job 42:8: Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”

God accepts Jesus prayer not to deal with the people responsible for his death, according to their sin. He declared on the cross: forgive them for the do not know what they do (Luke 23:34).

In like manner, there was sacrifice involved in freeing Job’s friend from impending judgement, i.e. God dealing with them according to the error of their ways. Instead through that sacrifice and prayer they were “saved.” Jesus also prayed while humanity brought him out as sacrifice (Job 11:48-53).

The book of Isaiah, spoke about Jesus: “Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” He was sacrificed so that we can come into favour with God, where before we deserved judgement. Jesus did not die for his own sins, and the next verse says: But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:3-5). It was clear Jesus did not die for his sins.

That really mirrors the story of Job. His friends told him: you are in this problem because of your own sins. You must have done something terribly wrong for these things to befall you. Something may be wrong with you.

But they did not know that what they were seeing in the natural, had root in the unseen world. They were looking at Job with natural eyes but what was happening to him emanates was an aftermath of event that has nothing to do with him. It was as a result of God calling the devil out. He told him: have you noticed my servant Job, who is righteousness in all way (Job 2)? Jesus also was righteous, and what happened to him was part of a spiritual battle of cosmic proportions.

The devil decided to deal ruthlessly with Job, but he would not have been able to do so, if God did not permit it. In like manner, Jesus said that no one can harm him, if God did not permit it (John 19:10-11). On both occasions, at the end of it all, the devil was silenced forever and glory was ascribed to God. The plan of the devil was defeated, and Job was restored and Jesus resurrected.

The three-fold temptation of the devil , at the end of his forty-day fast was to get Jesus (Luke 4:1-13) to disobey the word of God but he remained true to him, just as Job was also true to the God, after he suffered three-fold loses (death of children, destruction of business and loss of health).

On the cross at the heat of the suffering Jesus said, my God why have you forsaken him (Matthew 15:34), echoing Job’s own refrain, when he felt that he was being punished without cause. Jesus was nailed to the cross with three nails, as he lost blood on the cross, as Job suffered in three ways as His (Job) life was emptied as the bible says that the soul of Jesus was poured out (Isaiah 53:12).

Just as Job prayed for his friends, Jesus was also described as someone who exists to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).

Job suffered from the insensitive words of his three friends, He called them miserable comforters (Job 16:2). Jesus had a similar experience. In the Garden of Gethsemane (where he asked three times to be released from his impending death), when his soul was grievously distressed, he expected his three closest associates to stand by him, to feel the urgency of the moment and even pray with him, stand with him in the time of his great burden, but that was not the case. They slept off (Matthew 26:35-46). They were no help. They were insensitive.

Whatever happened to Job and Jesus was not as their fault. Jesus did not hang on the cross based on his own sin, but He was taunted: if you are the son of God come down? For them, that was the end for Jesus. How do you recover from dying on the cross? Is that not the end?

Job’s time on the floor scrapping his skin (because of itches from a terrible skin disease) with an hard object was thought to be the end of him. There was no foreseeable way for him to recover, he because an outcast. He lost all these was to lose still be alive, in painful existence; but he experienced restoration. For Jesus, he lost his life, but he got another life.

Jesus hanging on the cross was the worst kind of death. The Jewish law provides that cursed is anyone who hangs on the cross (Galatians 3:13). It was the most ignoble of death, as a man butt naked is hung for the world to see. That punishment was reserved for the worst of criminals. The Pharisee chose this death for Jesus because they hated him so much, and as a statement of how evil their hearts were. They meant it for evil, but God meant it for his higher good, like Joseph said many years after of his brother threw him under the bus (Genesis 50:20).

It was all for the glory of God the pain that Job and Jesus went through. It was all for a higher purpose.

God called Job his servant; that was also the description of Jesus (Isaiah 52:13-14). Job was serving God’s purpose without even knowing it. The bible says for your pain you will have double portion (Isaiah 61:7). God can factor your pain into a reward system, so that at the end you will thank for them. The bible says that God notes all our tears; they are in his book.

Your hurts will be turned to points of grace for you. That was what he told Paul, when he wanted out of his pain. He prayed three times, but Jesus told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my strength is perfected in weakness (2Corinthians 12:6-10).” With that change of perspective, Paul said: I will rather boast in my weakness so that the power of God can rest on me.

After their experience of weakness, they both experienced the power of God. For Jesus, it was resurrection. Paul said that Jesus was declared to be the son of God with power by the resurrection of the dead (Romans 1:4). Job experienced the power of resurrection in a limited sense, God gave Job beauty for ashes, symbolise by the statement the bible made about the beauty of his three daughters at the end of trial (Job 42:15).

God is the master of reversal of fortunes. Hannah was barren for so long, but she eventually birth many children (1Samuel 1:1-2:21). God gave her beauty for her ashes of barrenness, removing from her a spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3), giving her garment of praise. She actually wrote a song to commemorate the way God supernaturally changed her story.


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