The Cross in the Book of Job by Travis Bryan III
- Job contains the theology of the cross centuries before the cross.
- Job teaches us that God relates to humanity through the cross and the resurrection and not through the law. Law is a juridical system of reward and punishment or blessing versus cursing. Grace is a dying and rising participation with Christ. God relates to us through grace not law.
- The cross must come to everyone, the good (like Job) as well as the evil. The resurrection also comes to both the good and the evil.
- Job and his three friends all had a fallen understanding. They derived their view point, as we all do until we are enlightened, from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the tree of law. They believed that God relates to us based on our performance. If we are good we will be blessed. If we are evil we will be cursed or punished. They believed that their relationship with God was dependent on their performance. Consequently, Job’s friends believed his suffering was due to his sinful life. Job knew otherwise and said so but his friends would not believe him. Job could not understand why a righteous person like him was suffering. They all thought that only sinners should have to suffer. This is tree of knowledge thinking. Job and his friends were like both the elder and younger son in the prodigal story of Luke 15. Both sons were infected with the same tree of the knowledge of good and evil, reward/punishment, thinking. See also Jesus’ disciples view of why the man was blind in John 9:1-3. He had to have sinned. See also the Jews in John 8:1-10 for more good vs evil type of thinking.
- Job had to be stripped of his goodness and his self righteousness. We all must be stripped by the cross in order to be transformed into new creation people. Good people must be stripped. Evil people must be stripped.
- God allowed Satan to be His destructive hand against Job in the same way God allowed Satan to crucify the Lord of glory.
- Job was allowed to believe that God had done all these bad things to him when it was actually Satan. Satan even brought down “the fire of God from heaven” against Job.
- “Stripping” means we must all be handed over to Satan, as Job was, for the destruction of our flesh, even our prime grade A good flesh.
- The tools Satan used against Job in this book were wind, fire, criminal/military violence and disease. He uses these same tools and others against us today.
- In summary, the book of Job shows us that God is not a reward and punishment God. He is the God of the cross and resurrection of Christ.
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