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Shadows of the Cross

Shadows of the Cross – Live again (Job 14:14-17)

Today’s Reading: Job 13-16

Today’s Reflection: Job 14:14-17

14) If a man dies, shall he live again?  All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.  15) You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.  16) For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin; 17) my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity.

Job understood something his 3 friends did not.  That this life was not all there was.

I’m sure Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite all knew of the heralded Messiah, and they knew He was to come restore and set right what was wrong.  But as we see in the Gospels, Israel had two very different interpretations of what this meant.  The majority thought the Messiah was a warrior king who would overthrow their oppressors and restore Israel to the top of all earthly kingdoms.  They equated wealth and power with righteousness.  While the few who truly understood realized that the kingdom the Messiah was coming to establish was not of this world at all.

Here Job speaks of this kingdom, the Messiah’s kingdom.  And at a time when his friends were trapped into the simplistic idea of earning God’s favour through works and of measuring one’s standing with the Lord by their earthly success, Job references the beauty and power of grace, with it’s ability to inspire hope in the times of greatest suffering and sorrow.  For even ruling over all the wealth and power of this world is a still a curse, filled with toil, trial, pain and ultimately death.  But life in the world to come held the promise of all God had originally intended for humanity.  Perfection, harmony with mankind and the world, and ongoing kinship with God Himself.  And all of this for eternity.

By connecting God’s covering of transgressions and iniquities, His promised call to reclaim the faithful from the grave, and a future with a perfect world where sin no longer exists, Job wove an intricate picture of the Lord and Savior of mankind.  It was a picture his friends didn’t recognize then, but hopefully came to know through Job’s example and ministry.

It is a picture too many judgmental and legalistic Christians today still don’t recognize, but it is one we should reflect on.

James 2:5 – Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

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