I’ve paused while preparing the last of a series of bible studies in the book of Job to reflect on the resurrection and Job himself. He endured much suffering, the loss of family, fortune and his health. Job’s problems were compounded by three friends who insisted that he must be suffering because he sinned.
Towards the end of the book God speaks to Job inviting him to trust in God’s wisdom, which is never easy when we are suffering. However, Job shows his righteous character by humbly trusting in God when everything around him is in crisis. Then comes a resurrection moment.
Job’s friends having been rebuked by God for speaking wrongly about God are told to make a sacrifice for their sins and ask Job to pray for them. The irony of the moment is that their salvation before God is dependent on the prayers of the impoverished Job. Having humbled himself before God Job is asked to be a mediator in prayer for his accusers.
It is only when Job has prayed for his accusing friends that God restores him. A resurrection moment. Job’s family and fortune are given back to him twice as much as before. What was seemingly dead is now alive.
We may be in situations which are seemingly dead. Perhaps in suffering, perhaps facing false accusation, which is especially tough when it comes from those close to us. Dead relationally, dead to peace, dead to hope. Yet God is the God of the resurrection. Job’s restoration tells that God can and does restore from the dead. It foreshadowed the ultimate resurrection of Jesus. One who was falsely accused and rejected, was blameless yet took the sins of the world. Unlike Job, Jesus paid the ultimate price of dying for you and me so that we can know resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead tells us that sin has been dealt with. We can have a resurrected relationship with God by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We can know resurrection of relation with God and others, resurrection into a better eternal inheritance, resurrection of hope, love and joy.
Job’s resurrection occurred when he humbled himself before God and prayed for his friends. Jesus tells us not only to ask God for forgiveness but also to forgive others. Matthew 6:14-15 "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins”. There are resurrection moments that God wants to bring in relationship with Him and others. We have a part to play in receiving them by humbling ourselves before God and each other.