Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Human suffering has been on our hearts and minds quite a lot recently. Our reading for Easter Day from Job 19:23-27 is intended to breathe hope into a situation in which disappointment, suffering, and loss abound. Job had been a wealthy man, with an abundance of livestock, crop land, servants, and a large family. Everything was going well. He was really “living the dream” and it was a good dream, too! When he would dine with his children they would rejoice together. When his children were away, he would make sacrifices and offerings on their behalf, in case they had doubted God and sinned in their hearts. He was a godly man with a godly family. And the Lord had been good to him, these many years.
All that was taken away. In the opening chapter of the book of Job he lost it all, from invasions, and sudden, frightening signs of fire and wind. No one human, nor one man’s family, would be able to defend against this. He lost everything, but did not deny God.
After some time of visiting with several “counselors” who persisted in telling him he must be suffering due to his own sin, he was certainly tired of rejecting the counsel he received. What was his conclusion? His redeemer lives. Even if he should lose everything, even his flesh, he would still stand one day and see God, who has always been good to him. Job didn’t understand what was happening to him. But he concluded that he didn’t need to understand it. God is still God.
In times of doubt and even fear, as we approach the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, we, like Job, can confess that we have a living hope. Even if our lives are changed in ways we would never have imagined, even if we are confronted by death itself, Christians look forward to the resurrection. By faith in God through Jesus, we recognize that the very same Christ, God the Son, who has overcome death on our behalf, will raise us in the last day. We could possibly lose everything. Yet the Lord has never failed in his goodness and mercy. In the last day, we will see Him and know that he is the redeemer, exactly the redeemer we need.
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