Most famous quotes have survived without their context. But context is what makes the quote worth remembering.
A famous line in the Bible and in the Christian faith is, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me.”
What is the context of this confession of faith in a Redeemer? It is in the book of Job (Job 19:25-27). Job is a sufferer, and he said this in the middle of his suffering.
Christopher Ash has written that Job is also a prophet (1). Job is one of those men that the Apostle Peter spoke about when he said that the prophets prophesied about the grace of salvation without knowing fully who would bring that salvation and when it would come (1 Peter 1:10-12).
God had revealed enough of his plan to Job for him to know that he would be delivered and that he would see God. That’s all that Job knew. He lived well before Jesus Christ. He did not know what we who live after Jesus know. Job did not know that this reality of redemption would be fulfilled in the man named Jesus, who is the Son of God. He did not know when the Son of God would become a man. The plan for the sin-removing death of Jesus on the cross was not revealed to Job. But he did know that God would redeem him and that he would see God.
As Peter wrote later, Job wondered about what he did not know. And as we see in Job’s own words, he believed what God had revealed to him.
Much more has been revealed to us than to Job. We do see Jesus Christ in the pages of the New Testament. We have heard of his obedience to the will of God, his death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection from the grave for our life. We have read that he will return and deliver us from all our sins and sorrows. What Job hinted at by his life, sufferings, and statement of faith, we have seen clearly in Jesus Christ.
Like Job, we still live with some mystery, for what is to come has not yet been seen. So, like Job, we make the great confession of faith…there is a Redeemer and we shall see him.
Job believed so much about God’s grace with so little revelation of his plan. May we be granted grace to trust in God with so much of his plan revealed to us in Christ.
This Sunday at Grace, we will look in the book of Job to see Jesus our Redeemer. Will you pray with me for our time together?
(1) Christopher Ash. Job, The Wisdom of The Cross. Crossway. Pg. 217