Easter 2

Sermon                      Easter 2                     April, 1017

Text: Job 19:25-27 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
 And after my skin has been destroyed,  yet in my flesh I will see God;  I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!

                “Fear not for I know that you are for looking Jesus who was crucified, he is not here, he has risen just as he said.” What wonderful news that was for the women. But this is also wonderful news for you! There is a parallel between the women of that first Easter, and we in this Easter season 2 thousand years later. Jesus’ resurrection changed the whole mental outlook of those women, in fact, it changed their whole lives. The same is true for you and me.

             Why? Because Jesus’ resurrection gives to all mankind new HOPE. The first hope is this, because Jesus lives, you and I will live also. Though you die, yet you will live again forever. That is most important because death is a reality for all of us. But we rejoice it is not final; in fact, we have a happier, better life ahead. But Jesus’ resurrection gives us further hope. It gives us a new outlook on this life we live. His resurrection gives us hope that he is with us now; Jesus is alive, he rules, so he can be here to help in all of my trials, sickness and sorrows. We need to remember this because at times it doesn’t seem like he is present at all. At times, it seems he doesn’t care about what happens to us at all.  But the reality is he is always with you. He always is working for your salvation. He wants you to focus on obtaining the better life that is ahead.

            This is the lesson we learn from Job this morning. He could endure his suffering, he could carry on despite his losses, because of the coming life after death. After his death and resurrection, there would be no more losses, no more struggles, no more suffering. Because of this Job kept on saying to himself, I Know That My Redeemer Lives. This helped him because it provided the hope he needed. This helped him to remember his God was good and gracious. This caused him to recall his need for pardon and peace. Only God could provide that.

            You know the story of Job. Job lost just about everything he had in his life. He had been rich, that was gone. He had been healthy, now he was constantly ill. He had ten children, they all had been killed. All that remained were his wife, some friends and neighbors, and his grief filled heart. And that sorrow had multiplied further. His wife now loathed him. His so-called friends, three of them, instead of comforting him, chided him. They insisted Job needed to repent, his suffering could only be because of some terrible sin he had committed. They would not listen him and his pleas; nor to what he said in his defense.

            But there is another element to add to this. It appeared that God had abandoned Job; he was nowhere to be seen. Job’s suffering went on and on. It seemed that God didn’t care one bit. In fact, since God controls all things, Job knew that God allowed all that happened to take place. He also was permitting his continued suffering. And as is often the case with us, Job didn’t know why this was happening. He knew that he had NOT committed some grievous sin. He had loved and served the Lord faithfully. So, this was a tremendous test or trial of Job’s faith. It was also a temptation which was extremely difficult for Job. The devil wanted to destroy Job and his faith in God.

            Let us realize that we too can be so tempted. Isn’t it true that we too have suffered great tests and trials of faith? At times one affliction seems to pile up on another. We lose our job, the children get in trouble, the AC breaks down, we have a car accident, we can’t shake some health problem. We sin, we suffer from guilt, our conscience goes on like Job’s 3 friends taunting us again and again. We feel helpless. Where are you Lord, we ask? Won’t you pardon me? Won’t you give me some relief? Can’t you take away my pain? Why won’t you answer my prayers?  Please, come and help me!

            What did Job do in his situation?  He did this. He said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” With these words, Job still was putting his trust in the Lord.  This he did in spite of the fact God didn’t seem to be listening to him; though he didn’t seem to be helping him. Job was confident that God in the end would redeem him, vindicate him, give him the help he really needed, pardon and peace.

             Please look carefully at Job’s words. He says, “I KNOW” my Redeemer lives. So, his words to his taunting friends are not hesitant; there is no doubt in them. They are positive, sure, confident words. Secondly, he calls his Lord, REDEEMER.  This is surely an amazing statement. When God seems to be dealing cruelly with him, Job says that is not God’s true attitude towards me. He believes God still loves him. He trusts that in the end God will again demonstrate his bountiful love toward him. Though God is permitting him to suffer now, in the end it will be the Lord who puts an end to his suffering. In the end God will say, “Job is mine”.

            Job is right on. For he says the Lord is MY Redeemer. To redeem means basically to buy back. If you take something to a pawn shop, you later can go and buy back whatever you pawned. So Jesus came to redeem Job and us. Job says that on a later date his Lord will stand upon this earth. This is a prophecy with a triple fulfillment. Jesus, the Son of God, born in Bethlehem came to redeem his people. He did that. For when he hung on the cross, when he died on the cross, he bought back his people. He paid a fearful price; he did repurchase us not with gold or silver, but with holy, innocent blood. He gave his life so that we might live. [That is the first fulfillment.] Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. He took up his life again because he has all power. So, Job is right, his Redeemer would die, but he still lives. And because he lives Job and you live also. [That is the second fulfillment.] But Jesus in the end, will come again and stand on this earth. He will come to collect Job and you and me. [This will be the third fulfillment.] Now because Job is totally right in his defense against his friends, Job is vindicated. God still loves Job. He will come and help him in his good time and in his good way. ---But Job is also teaching his friends something. It is this. Even though in our trials and tests we may lose our earthly life, we are redeemed, we will live on. If fact, we will live forever.

            So, when your afflictions pile up; when you are so burdened in this life that you wonder if you will ever be happy again, remember, YOUR Redeemer lives.  When you are burdened with guilt because sins past or present, remember, your REDEEMER lives.  When your final hours come, remember, “I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. Your Redeemer lives, you live also. You see, when Jesus died and rose again, he did that precisely so you can live with him. Your worse sin, in your estimation, is paid for by Jesus. All your sins are washed away by his blood. There is nothing, but a lack of faith, that can keep you from seeing and being with Jesus forever!

            You may at times think God is nowhere near you. You may think that he doesn’t answer your prayer. Yet you need to remember, He is your REDEEMER. He paid a high price to save you. If he did that, do you think his love is going to change? Never! Jesus Christ is the same  yesterday, today, and forever. He will come again. You will see him with your very own eyes. When you do, He will wipe all your tears. He will end all sorrow. He keeps all his promises. So, Watch for his coming for you.  Amen

 

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