Today’s Scripture readings: Psalm 88, Job 19:21-27, Hebrews 4:1-16
Today’s writer: John Roop
Nothing befalls Job but the common lot of man: financial loss, the death of a child, illness, marital strife, confusion – all difficult, all tragic, but none unusual. The real problem with Job is that all of these happen and all at once. Job becomes the unwitting and unwilling Everyman, the representative of humanity who bears all the tragedies of the species. All but one, that is: Job does not face his own death.
Job remains convinced of three truths: that he is righteous, that he will be vindicated if only he can present his case before God, and that there is a Redeemer who will take his side and mediate between God and Job. There is even the faintest hint that Job will find God, Himself, to be that Redeemer. In this context, we read these prophetic verses: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and … I shall see God, whom I see on my side, and my eyes shall behold.”
And now it is Holy Saturday. Jesus, the intentional and willing Everyman, the representative of all – living, dead, or yet-to-be – has embraced all the tragedy and sin of the species on the hard wood of the cross. Unlike Job, Jesus has also faced His own death, our death, and even death itself. And, as with Job, there are three truths: He is righteous, He will vindicate us by presenting Himself before God, and there is a Redeemer who can reconcile us to God – the Redeemer who at last will stand upon the earth, the Redeemer who is on our side, the Redeemer that our eyes will yet behold, even the One who rests in the tomb this day.