I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament should always be read through the lens of the Gospel.
Though Jesus was yet to walk the earth at the time it was written, He remains at the centre. Sometimes explicitly through prophecy, other times, through underlying subtext. We simply need to look for Him.
As I read through the book of Job recently, I did. Look for Jesus, that is. And guess what? I found Him!
In many places. There are statements posed and questions raised by Job and his friends in response to Job’s suffering that make me want to travel back in time, with New Testament scripture in hand, and point them to a future hope.
Hope found in the person of Jesus Christ.
So, I’ve pulled together a collection of passages in the book of Job that prompted me the most to turn to New Testament scripture to provide a different perspective through the lens of the Gospel.
“He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together.” Job 9:32-33 (NIV)
In his suffering, Job had never felt so distant from God. He was longing for a way to reach God.
New Testament Truth #1:
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)
Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man (fully God and fully human) has since become the way to the Father. He identifies with our suffering and intercedes for us, giving us access to the Father.
“How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.” Job 13:23 (NIV)
Job was so caught up in what he did wrong to be inflicted with such punishment. It’s as though he found his worth in his righteousness. I don’t blame him. You see, in Job’s time (before the Cross), righteousness was earned under the law.
New Testament Truth #2:
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
Today (after the Cross), under the gospel of grace, our righteousness is gained through Christ alone. His blood covers all our sins. We are no longer punishable for our sin and transgressions. Jesus took the punishment once and for all!
“If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.” Job 14:14 (NIV)
Job questions whether there is life after death, concluding that he could endure his suffering knowing a better life is to come.
New Testament Truth #3:
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” John 11:25 (NIV)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NIV)
Job’s hope for a better life to come is exactly what God promises His children today. That through Christ, we have eternal life and considering that, our struggles here on earth are fleeting.
“If only I knew how to find him, so that I could go to his throne.” Job 23:3 (CSB)
To Job, God seemed inaccessible. The extent of his relationship with the Lord was offering sacrifices and living in obedience to His commands under the law.
New Testament Truth #4:
“Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Today, because of our restored relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, we can approach God’s throne at any time, anywhere. He is more accessible than ever!
So there it is – the book of Job through the lens of the Gospel. Illuminating, isn’t it? Next time you open the Old Testament, I encourage you to consider Gospel truths from the New Testament as you read and see what God reveals to you.
If you can, come back and leave a comment below to let me know what you find!