Vicar Matt Doebler
Matins Devotion: February 13, 2023
In our reading from Job we learn why Christ had to come to be the mediator between a holy God and sinful man.
Remember where Job is. Sitting on an ash heap—covered with boils—a man who had, at one time, gained the whole world and who has now lost everything.
In his grief, Job has been lamenting. Asking how God could allow such evil things to happen to those who worship him.
In response, Bildad, one of Job’s friends, rebukes Job for insinuating that God could ever be capable of perverting justice. If evil is happening to you, Job—Bildad says—then it must be your fault.
Now, Job’s response is interesting. On one hand he affirms some of what Bildad has said. Job recognizes that God has the power and the freedom to do whatever he wants. He speaks of God’s wisdom and strength as seen through creation. It is God who has stretched out the very heavens, who has filled them with the sun, moon, and stars, and who, if he so desired, could darken all of them in a moment.
And yet, Job expresses no desire to approach this all powerful and holy God so that he can argue his case. At least not alone. Job cries out, “Oh, how I wish that there was an arbitrator—a mediator who could come between us—who could take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me.”
You see, even in his deepest despair Job’s faith clings to the promise that this righteous, holy, all powerful God who has afflicted him will, in the end, be merciful to all who cry out for the righteousness of another to cover them. To all who cry out for the righteousness of a mediator between a holy God and sinful man.
This is what leads Paul to declare in 1 Timothy 2 that “there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all…” Christ is the one who answered Job’s prayer. The one who stepped in between a holy God and sinful man. The one who took the rod of judgment away by putting his own back under it. The one who bridged the gap when stretched out his hands on a cross.
Because of our sin, we could never approach God alone. Now, by the grace shown to us in Christ, we never have to. Christ, our mediator, goes before us into the presence Father where he always stands to intercede on our behalf. Christ leads us boldly before the throne of grace. Christ gives us the right—even in times of lament—to cry out confidently to our dear Father in Heaven—knowing that he hears his dear children.