Merry Christmas! Today, we celebrate the birthday of our Lord. We remember the day that our Redeemer came to light on the earth.
In today's reading, Job says:
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.26
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;27
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
(Job 19.25-27 NIV)
If Easter is the day when we say, "He lives again," then Christmas should be the day that we say, "He lives!" Though truthfully, even before He was born--even before He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus lived. He is the eternally existent One, who was with God in the beginning and who made the world and everything in it (John 1).
Thousands of years before Christ, Job knew that his Redeemer was already alive (he uses the present tense in verse 25). "In the end he will stand on the earth" is a prophetic foretelling of Jesus' incarnation. Job isn't talking about the end of time, but the end of sin's bondage and the beginning of the new age of redemption. Job is talking about Immanuel--God With Us--who already lived without human flesh. Job predicts that this Redeemer will initiate the final covenant with humanity when He takes on flesh and stands on the earth. It's pretty amazing that thousands of years before Jesus, Job predicted the incarnation!
In the next verses, Job predicts the resurrection. He seems to gloss over Jesus' death and resurrection, but he certainly looks forward to the renewal of his flesh, even after it has been destroyed. He will see God face to face with renewed eyes--even after his eyes are no more.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life." In Job's longing for the resurrection, he was longing for Jesus. That's why he said, "My heart yearns within me!"
I hope that this Christmas, you'll thank God for His incarnation--for the miracle of Christ's birth and His taking on of human flesh. I hope that even as you celebrate the baby in the manger, you'll remember Jesus' death and resurrection, and then look forward to your own. I pray that your heart will yearn within you for Jesus, because He alone is your life and peace.
Merry Christmas! May God bless you in the coming year!