Day 16

Jesus Is The True & Better Job

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan


Job 1:1-22, 1 Peter 2:21-25, 1 Peter 3:18

BY Guest Writer

Text: Job 1:1-22, 1 Peter 2:21-25, 1 Peter 3:18 

Every Missouri farm girl like me knows what a cocklebur is, but since not every woman is a muck boots-wearin’, four-wheeler-ridin’ farmer, here’s a country girl crash course. Cockleburs are tiny, spiky black thistles that fuse themselves to you when you walk through the woods. They stick to your socks and boots, your pants and shirt, your dog and your children. Though not nearly as tasty, they work like nature’s taffy. The more you try to pull free of them, the more stuck you become.

It’s enough to make even the hillbilliest farm girl dream of life in the cocklebur-free big city.

But those little, spiky shells house a seed. The barbs cling to passersby and are spread far and wide. Sure, they inflict some minor “suffering” on their host, but it is not suffering without purpose. It is an ingenious method of perpetuating life.

My aversion to cockleburs is almost as strong as my aversion to the book of Job. It never gets easier to read. Here’s Job’s glowing resume:

“[Job] was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil… Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east.”
– Job 1:1,3

If a good man is hard to find, Job was that anomaly. He deserved an award. Instead, he lost his children, his fortune, and his health—he lost everything. Not just a suffering servant, Job seems to be a senselessly suffering servant.

If someone like Job is going to endure so much, I want it to be a means to an end. The phrase “everything happens for a reason” is born out of our desperation to look into Job-like suffering and see purpose. We all want our suffering to mean something. We want other people’s suffering to mean something, too. It’s why we offer hollow platitudes in hospital rooms and funeral homes. We are all like Job’s friends, so desperate to find purpose in pain that we sometimes say stupid things.

I want Job’s story to end with the creation of an organization or foundation that changed the world. I want to read that millions of people came to worship Job’s God for the first time because he suffered so well. But Job’s story doesn’t give us the happy ending we crave. Sure, the things he lost were restored, but we are left to wonder whether his suffering accomplished a higher purpose. The cockleburs that stuck to Job don’t deliver the meaning I want them to.

But Jesus is the true and better Job.

Jesus suffered more than I can wrap my human mind around. He was beaten, bloodied, humiliated, scorned, crucified, and killed (Matthew 27:27-31). Yes, Job was a righteous man, but he was ultimately a sinner, incapable of keeping God’s holy standards. Not Jesus. He never sinned, not once. And yet, He suffered unimaginably. Jesus’ sinlessness makes His suffering unbearable unless we look past the Cross to what it accomplished:

“For Christ also suffered for sins once for all,
the righteous for the unrighteous,
that He might bring you to God,
after being put to death in the fleshly realm
but made alive in the spiritual realm.”
1 Peter 3:18

Job’s suffering was an answer to the Enemy’s accusation. Jesus suffered to silence the Accuser forever (Job 1:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:55). Job was wounded, seemingly to no higher end. Jesus was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sins (Isaiah 53:5). The book of Job ends without an explanation for His suffering. Jesus’ life ended to fix creation’s biggest problem: sin.

Infinitely more miraculous than a forest full of cockleburs, Christ’s work on the cross carried salvation across all time and for all who would repent and believe. Jesus’ suffering gave us life. His pain made a way for the redemptive ending I am so desperate for.

Jesus was a suffering servant, but not a servant who suffered senselessly. His unimaginable suffering was for our immeasurable relief. Thanks you, Jesus.

Erin Davis is a popular author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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Post Comments (126)

126 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Job"

  1. Wendy says:

    I am thanking God for this post today. I am being rejected by some friends and it’s been very hard. I have seen Satan all over this situation. I am praying and believing that these relationships won’t be “dead” in the end. I know it’s a possibility because Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. I know in eternity all is restored. I can’t even have a conversation with them because they refuse. Help me Jesus to remember I never lose you no matter what. I will keep my eyes on you knowing that you care for me. I keep trying to figure out and explain the purpose of the mess before me, I am going to rest and trust you.

    1. Lisa Marie says:

      Wendy, I am living what you speak. It’s been 2 years and I’m still met with complete silence. We may never get the ending we’re looking for, but keep seeking God. I am praying for you now. ::hugs::

  2. Patti says:

    I’m behind in my reading here, but one thing stood out to me. The age old question of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Right here in Job 1:12. God permitted Satan to do just what he want to do to Job, except to hurt him physically. So when people ask why God has allowed pain and suffering in our lives, its not God, but Satan. Because of our sins and everyday we sin even when we think we are being righteous, Satan is walking in our lives, ready to pounce in our weakest monents. In our suffering, we must turn our eyes upon God our Father, just as the One who was without sin, did on the cross. He was born to save us. Thank you Jesus.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Today I found out that I didn’t get a job I was really praying for. This reminded me that my experience is barely even suffering, and pointed me toward the one who did suffer for me.

    1. Melicia Bosnjak says:

      I’m sorry to hear that! What a great reminder and perspective. But at the same time, even with the pain he carried, the Savior feels yours just as you do! I hope that is a comfort and that a better opportunity is down the way.

      1. Crizia says:

        I am halfway around the world and feel your pain Stephanie. I would also like to thank Melicia for expressing your kind words as it also spoke to my heart. It is a great reminder that God is near the crushed in spirit and also feels our pain. The King of kings stoops down to our level and loves us with an extravagant love. We may never know why certain things happen, but we can always count on God because He loves us so much and desires only the best for us.

        Thank you for your courage to speak out about this. (Even if it may seem “small”) :)

  4. Cynthia says:

    I keep coming back to it, something about it sort of “bothers” me. My mind and heart have never considered that Job’s suffering had no purpose; at the end he was reassured of who God is and he continued to believe & trust God and that in and of itself is a huge purpose. God is not obligated to us to give us His purpose in suffering yet many times Scripture does. And what I am thankful to know is God revealed Himself to Job and He will do the same for me – I know when I have difficult times in my life – God and His Word become more precious and encouraging and convicting – and it all increases my realization that I must depend on God for every hour, every minute. If that is the only purpose, it’s a needed one. And aren’t we all thankful God chose to put this story of Job’s life in HIs Word to us – even though, I do agree, it is hard to read and understand from our human perspectives!! Thanks for just letting me share this – I am truly enjoying the Advent devo – and YES, YES!!!! Jesus is the true and better Job!!

  5. Kait says:

    I think what I find most comforting in the story of Job and then Jesus being the true and better Job is both that Christ suffered for us, but also suffers with us. And so though we go through sufferings that can seem senseless, be can defeat that agony of feeling as though we are alone in it. because we have a Saviour who is well acquainted with grief. thank you Lord for never leaving nor forsaking us, especially in our suffering.

    1. Angela says:

      Thank you for this comment, it’s just what I needed to hear this morning. God is good.

  6. Kelly says:

    I am a little late to the follow up, I know, and yet I want to share! Job’s suffering did feel senseless through most of the book, and although his family and things were restored after the fact, the ‘sense’ that God shows us, through Job’s suffering, is seen in the last chapter, 42:5, where Job confesses that before all of this suffering had happened, “I ha(d) heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
    But now my eye sees You;” Meaning, he knew God in a whole new, deeper, clearer way because of this journey of pain, than he had ever known Him before. My point is, in perspective, Job’s suffering brought him (and only him) closer to God, and Jesus’ suffering brought all of us closer to Him.

    1. Erin says:

      I love this thought, Kelly! Thank you for sharing :)

    2. Monisola says:

      I totally agree with this thought, while I read through this I kept saying to myself there was purpose in Job’s pain. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Andrea says:

        Absolutely! Sometimes our suffering is the only thing that builds our relationship with God. I think Job’s suffering had a purpose for him and his faith. That is enough of a purpose to endure it.

      2. Lisa Marie says:

        I felt the same way! Happy to hear someone else had the same thoughts/feelings.

  7. Rebekah says:

    Wonderful, wonderful devotional! Thank you, Erin! Profound comparisons I will be pondering on.

    And thank You, Jesus, for your suffering that brought us life. Praise God!

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