Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! This Lord’s Day as we reflect on the resurrection of Christ we will ask the question, “Why does it matter? Why does it matter that the tomb was empty on that first Easter Sunday.” In 1 Corinthians 15:19 Paul talks about having hope “in this life only.” How does the resurrection of Christ give us hope beyond this life. Join us Sunday as we worship our risen and living Savior.
Also, invite our neighbors and friends who perhaps may be looking for a place to go to church!!
Again, if you have interest in going on our Spring Retreat (May 29-31) please let me know ASAP.
This week’s devotio is a reflection from Job on the source of his hope during extreme circumstances.
From the Pastor’s Desk
Job 19:25-26, “For I know that my Redeemer lives … and after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”
Job was a blameless and upright man who loved and feared the Lord (1:1). He was the greatest man of all the people of the East (1:3). Yet Job was also an afflicted man. He was a man who endured extreme suffering. In the span of a few verses Job loses everything. He loses his livelihood, his children, and his health (1:13-2:8). Thus Job is a book given to the church to teach her about suffering and the ways and providence of God. The body of the book (chapters 4-37) consists of a series of speeches from Job’s friends – his ‘miserable comforters (16:2)’ – and Job’s responses to those speeches.
In chapter 19 Job is both at his lowest point of despair and his highest point of hope. In vv. 2-5 Job describes the torment he has received from his so-called ‘friends’: “How long will you torment me and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me?” (vv. 2-3). Worse than this, however, Job feels as if God himself is against him: “[God] has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths … He has kindled his wrath against me and counts me as his adversary” (vv. 8, 11). Moreover, in vv. 13-20 Job articulates the tremendous social horror and abandonment that he has experienced: “My relatives have failed me, my close friends have forgotten me … Even young children despise me … all my intimate friends abhor me” (vv. 14, 18a, 19a).
Although enduring unimaginable physical, social, and spiritual hardship, Job expresses a glorious hope in vv. 23-27. In vv. 23-24 Job expresses his desire that his case be written down in order that he be vindicated by a future generation. Job wishes his words be preserved as a witness to his case for a future generation. The highlight of this chapter, however, comes in vv. 25-27. With the use of the conjunction “for” to open v. 25, Job gives the grounds or the foundation for his desire to preserve his case. Why does Job want his case and his words preserved? Because he knows that his redeemer lives and that he will stand upon the earth! That is, what Job is expressing in this verse is his knowledge that his redeemer will one day in the future stand upon the earth to plead his case. Put simply, he expects justice to be had when the redeemer stands upon the earth. Furthermore, Job expects that on that day he will see God. Verse 26 functions as the climax of the chapter as Job expresses his hope in a future resurrection. Job is in the depths of despair. He despairs of his own life. He expects his life to end. Yet he knows this world and this life are not all there is. Put simply, Job’s only hope while sitting in the pit of despair is his hope of the future resurrection – that on that day he will see God (see 1 John 3:2 for a Christological allusion to this verse).
Brothers and sisters, as Easter Sunday is fast approaching – a day on which we rejoice in a focused way on the resurrection of Christ – take heart. If you, like Job, feel as if your life is not worth living – of if you feel as if you are in the depths of despair – take heart in the resurrection of Christ. Take heart the Christ is victorious – take heart that death has been defeated – take heart that you will one day see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. Take heart that on that day all wrongs will be put right. Take heart that we worship and serve a living savior. We can say with Job, “I know that my redeemer lives.” And brothers and sisters, our redeemer laid down his life for you and me … BUT rose triumphantly as the true King of kings and Lord of lords. Rejoice that our Redeemer lives!!
God bless and I look forward to worshipping with you this Easter Sunday,