After Job suffered, he served as one of the clearest types of Christ in the Old Testament. Job longed for his Mediator, Advocate, and Redeemer throughout his trials, and then he became a picture of the Person, Jesus Christ, to his friends.
1. Job’s Sacrifice and Intercession Turned Away God’s Wrath
Job 42:7-8—And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
God said His “wrath was aroused against [Job’s] friends.” How could God’s wrath be turned away? This was hundreds of years before the Mosaic law instituted the sacrificial system, but even then it was clear an offering needed to be made for sin. Seven is the number of completion, which means Job’s offering pictured a perfect sacrifice on his friends’ behalf.
God did not treat Job’s friends “according to [their] folly,” which is to say they did not receive the punishment they deserved. They avoided God’s judgment because Job interceded for them. Similarly, God’s wrath is against us, but Jesus offered a perfect sacrifice on our behalf. We do not receive the punishment our sins deserve. We avoid judgment, because of Jesus’ intercession for us.
2. God Accepted Job in Place of His Friends
Job 42:9—“So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; for the Lord had accepted Job.”
Job’s friends did not accept him, but in verse eight God said, “I will accept [Job],” and now it says God “accepted Job.” Those closest to Job rejected him like those closest to Jesus rejected him, but God accepted Job on their behalf like God accepts Jesus on our behalf.
3. Job Was Rejected and Then Exalted
Job 42:11—“Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.”
Job was rejected by his family but then accepted by them. Similarly, Jesus was first rejected by his family and then accepted by them. Job experienced suffering and humiliation, but then blessing and exaltation. Jesus experienced suffering and humiliation, but He will experience blessing and exaltation:
Philippians 2:7-11—[Jesus] made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Job’s friends honored him because of what he did for them. How much more honor should we give Christ, because of the greater work He did for us as our Mediator, Advocate, and Redeemer?
4. Job Was An Innocent, Righteous Sufferer
The first two chapters of the Book of Job contain what could be the greatest description of an individual in all of Scripture, second only to Christ Himself:
- Job 1:1 says, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”
- Job 1:8 God described Job to Satan: “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
- Job 2:3 God described Job again, after Satan destroyed his animals, servants, and children. He repeated what He previously said and added, “Still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
Job’s description contributes to the main struggle people have with this book. If Job looked like a terrible sinner who “had it coming,” there would be no dilemma. Instead, we ask:
“How could God let an innocent, righteous man experience such terrible suffering?”
Despite Job’s character, he was still a sinner: “There is none righteous; no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Job revealed the truth of this verse. At times he accused God and revealed self-righteousness.
There has only been one perfectly righteous, innocent Sufferer, and that is Jesus. The Gospels go to great lengths throughout His trials to reveal this:
- Matthew 27:19—Pilate’s wife said, “Have nothing to do with that just Man.”
- Matthew 27:24—Pilate said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person.”
- Luke 23:41—One of the criminals on the cross next to Jesus said, “This Man has done nothing wrong.”
- Luke 23:47—The centurion said, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
5. Job Suffered and Then Saved His Friends
Job looked forward to the Man who suffered and saved His friends in the true and greater sense. He suffered. But Jesus suffered for the sins of others. Job offered a sacrifice for his friends. But Jesus offered the one sacrifice that provided eternal life:
Hebrews 10:12—This Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
Job saved his friends physically and temporarily. But Jesus saves His friends spiritually and eternally.
If you enjoyed this post, I would encourage you to check out Bob Sorge’s post, “22 Ways to Find Jesus in the Book of Job.”
Discussion Questions to Answer in Comments Section
- Can you think of other ways Job served as a type of Christ?
- In what ways is Jesus the true and greater Intercessor, and the only innocent, righteous Sufferer?
- Can you think of other examples in Scripture of individuals who served as a type of Christ during their suffering?