May 24

Job 16-19, Psalm 139

So often people describe what Jesus went through without any signs of emotion. They treat Him and what He did for us as though it was simply His job description. They explain it as though it wasn't so bad since He was God and therefore He could take it. When describing Jesus' time on earth, especially leading up to His crucifixion there is a tendency to minimize His humanity and elevate His deity, therefore making the situation more palatable for us. Worse than that many have minimized what He went through and did for us and relegated Him on the cross as little more than the mascot of our faith. Since Job was fully human and no part God we look at his situation as being so disastrous, we can all emulate with what he was going through. May we never forget that Jesus was fully human and fully God, but He chose to empty Himself of His divine powers and suffered and died in His humanity. We read in Philippians 2:5-8, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

Job describes the events surrounding his torment with amazing prophetic clarity pointing to their future fulfillment and application to our Savior, Jesus Christ. We read in Job 16:10, "They gape at me with their mouth...". We see this same verse in Psalm 22:13, a Messianic Psalm, applied to Jesus at the time of His crucifixion. In Job 16:10, it continues, "...They strike me reproachfully on the cheek." In Job 17:6, we read "But He has made me a byword of the people, And I have become one in whose face men spit." When Jesus was being falsely accused in the mock trial set up by the Sanhedrin, we read in Matthew 26:67-68, "Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?" We read in Job 19:7, "If I cry out concerning wrong, I am not heard. If I cry aloud, there is no justice." We read in Matthew 27:46, Jesus said on the cross, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" In Job 19:8, we read, "He has fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; And He has set darkness in my paths." We read in Matthew 27:45, while hanging on the cross, "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land." In Job 19:9, we read, "He has stripped me of my glory, And taken the crown from my head." Jesus was hung on the cross completely naked and His majestic crown which He deserved was replaced with a crown of thorns. We read in Job 19:10, "He breaks me down on every side, And I am gone:..." We read in Isaiah 52:14, looking prophetically at Jesus, our Suffering Servant, "Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;". In Job 19:11, we read, "He has also kindled His wrath against me, And He counts me as one of His enemies." We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." We read in Job 12-13, "His troops come together And build up their road against me; They encamp all around my tent. He has removed my brothers far from me, And my acquaintances are completely estranged from me." As Jesus hung on that cross for the sins of humanity, His brothers still did not believe in Him, He was surrounded by the enemy troops consisting of the Roman soldiers and those of the religious establishment who continued to hurl insults and mock Him (Matthew 27:39-44), and He was abandoned by His closest friends as the apostles all fled the scene (except John).

All of us have gone and will continue to go through various trials. Many look at the story of Job as one who experienced so much more than any of us will ever go through, yet maintained his faith throughout. As we go through our trials we should look to examples like Job to encourage us and bolster our faith. But may we never fall guilty of the perfect example, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are all guilty as sinners, each and every one. If not for the mercy and grace of God we would all be punished daily for our sins (if any want to minimize our sin condition, just remember that God also knows our thought and our motives). Unlike us, Jesus was perfect, yet suffered more than any man for our sake. For those who want to compare His death to that of others, they completely miss the point that the sinless Lamb of God, took upon Himself the sins of all humanity with Him on the cross. This represented the sins of all, past, present and future. He took upon Himself the sins of every murderer, pedophile, terrorist, etc. To minimize the humanity of Jesus Christ, minimizes what He went through and experienced out of His perfect love for us, the unworthy objects of His love. May we assign Him the worth He so richly deserves. May we exalt Him daily in our prayers. May we seize every opportunity to tell others of His love and what He did for us and them.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster