Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thoughts on Job and Christ

I've been meditating on Job again (finalizing a childrens book in verse on Job), and as I was reading Sinclair F with my son Desmond tonight, it struck me. Maybe I'm wrong, but there's heaps more going on in Job than what appears at early readings (for me anyway--I've been known to be sort of slow on the uptake). Is it valid to say that Job is a prototype and foreshadowing of the humiliation and suffering God the Father would afflict on his own Son when he sent him to earth to offer up himself in our place? 

Job was upright, righteous, fearing God, turning away from evil, wealthy even. Of course no human being is these things perfectly--by a long shot; we all fall short of the glory of God. They are, however, perfect attributes of Christ. And remember that God initiates the humiliation and suffering of Job, offering Job up, as it were, to Satan. Furthermore, the set-up is all about cursing: will Job curse God when he is afflicted or will he bless God? Though Job curses the day of his birth, and is deeply perplexed, Satan was wrong: Job never curses God; nor did Christ, though he became a curse for us, our vicarious curse-bearer. Rather Job worships in suffering (chapter 2, and especially in chapter 19). Yet he does feel very much forsaken by God, who seems far off, doesn't seem to hear or care, so Job thinks, and he feels God is not being just with him, making him suffer consequences more in keeping with others offenses than any he had committed. Whereas with Christ, his Father actually does forsake his Son, who experiences Job's anguish and heaps more, bearing his people's sin and the wrath of God for us, that is, suffering for others crimes. 

Finally, God raises Job up from the ashes, restores him, lavishes wealth on him again, and commands the sorry friends to have Job be their prayer advocate, their go-between to God himself. All things that are not ordinary in a fallen world for most of us, yet all things that God did for his Son whom he highly exalted and gave a name above every name. 

If this is the sense of the big picture of Job, I'm sure others have worked this out far better, and these are rough notes, but I wonder. Job sees God, actually talks with him, repents (Jesus of course never needed to repent of or pay for sins, though he as our sin-bearer suffered under the weight of our load on our behalf. If this fits Clowney's box, then Job would be a type and foreshadowing of Christ, though I've never heard or read him being understood as such. Maybe I need to read more. Am I all wet here?

1 comment:

  1. I am inclined to agree with you. In fact, the other day, when I was watching an old episode of "The Rifleman" with Chuck Conners, the "Rifleman" was explaining the book of Job to his son Mark, I thought, "this sounds a lot like Jesus!"

    In Christ,