Job was blameless and upright (Job 1:1) and Jesus was too (2 Cor 5:21a). It is important to note that blameless is different from sinless. Christ was both sinless and blameless, while Job was only blameless.
Job also looked to make sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of God’s children.
In Job 1:21, Job prays and affirms that God’s will is sovereign, just as Jesus prays in the garden before He was arrested.
As Job was suffering, he was tempted to lose faith and curse God. As Jesus was suffering on the cross, those around Him mocked and jeered Him, trying to get Him to lose faith in God.
Job has three close friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, that he allowed to see him in his worst moments (and probably his best too). Jesus had three friends, Peter, James, and John, that came with Him to specifically His best and worst moments.
Job speaks of a day that would long to be forgotten, a day when darkness will cover the land in shame. As Jesus is on the cross, the day hides its face and darkness takes away the light.
Job also asks many questions of philosophy. Why are we here? Why doesn’t God just let us die? Why is life given to man if he is only to be troubled? The answer is the ever-popular Sunday-school “Jesus!” Troubled waters only serve to glorify Jesus, who can overcome all things.
In Job 4, we see Job very discouraged, much like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. And, as Jesus was ministered to and strengthened by an angel, so was Job ministered to and strengthened by his friend Eliphaz.
JOB 5: SAVIOR JESUS
Wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted; the lowly he sets high and those who morn are lifted to safety. He thwarts the plans of the crafty, He saves the needy from the sword, He saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. In famine, He will ransom you from death. Sounds like Jesus to me. Job 5 is about the Savior Jesus.
Job 6 is about Jesus. Here, you could say that Job is a lesser-Jesus, a precursor to Jesus, a foreshadowing. Like Jesus in the garden, Job is undergoing a high amount of stress. He is frustrated and doesn’t want to go on. Unlike Jesus however, Job did not have the strength, nor the conviction, to carry through the tough times. Like Jesus, Job had unreliable friends, and like Jesus, Job was suffering severely. At one point, Job even mentions something about God crushing him, a stunning parallel to Isaiah 53:10 (“…it was the Lord’s will to crush Him…”).
JOB 7: JESUS AS THE ULTIMATE ANSWER
Jesus is the answer to Job 7. Job is asking philosophical questions here about the nature of life and suffering. He is asking questions about why God does certain things. The answer is Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment that Job is missing here, as he will allude to later in the book.
In Job 8, Job’s friend Bildad, probably unknowingly, talks about Jesus. He asks Job how plants can grow without water, pointing out how we need a Source by which to grow and be sustained. Later, in verse 18, Bibdad foreshadows Jesus’ statement about those who would be denied admittance into heaven when he says “Away from me. I never knew you.” Finally, at the end of chapter 8, Bildad, led by the Spirit, speaks of the Day when Jesus will wipe the tear from the eyes of His followers and deliver justice upon his enemies.
Right away in Job 9, Job asks, “How can a mortal be righteous before God?” The answer, of course, is Jesus. Job needed Jesus. Job then goes on to describe Jesus. He talks of His great power and of His creation. We also know that Jesus will come back to judge the living and the dead. Job actually refers to Him here as “my Judge.” Finally, at the end of Job 9 is one of the clearest calls for Jesus in the OT. Job, in verses 33-35, says, “if only there was someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both… then I would speak without fear, but as it now stands with me, I cannot”
Job 10 is about Jesus’ justice and power. Job elaborates on the pain of being separated from God. As the Bible teaches, in the end, Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, separating those who have trusted in Him from those who have trusted in other things. The pain and suffering they will bear will be unfathomable. Job gives us just a glimpse of this. Job 10 also serves to show God’s sovereignty over all things. As God formed each person from the clay, He absolutely has the right to return them to dust. We are His creation.
Job 11 speaks of the charges that are built up against man, that Jesus would take upon Himself. Job’s friend also tells him that if he will stand in [the] righteousness [of Christ] before God, he will be safe. In verse 17, Zophar says that “life will be brighter than noonday,” a parallel to Jesus’ statement about the “abundant life.” Zophar also says, “You will be secure, because there is hope.” The hope he speaks of is Jesus.
Jesus is all-powerful and sovereign. He causes the wind to blow and the sun to shine. There is nothing He doesn’t see, and nothing passes without going through His hands. He has created all things, and holds all things. On a whim, He can bring down kings and nations. He can destroy cities and lands. Because we are infected with sin, He would have the right to destroy us all. Any time that He does not destroy us, we are recipients of grace. But He is also compassionate, and would rather save than destroy. Because of His great power, He is able to save whomever He desires, and there is no power, king, nation, or authority that can stop Him. He is Jesus, the Lord and Savior, the all-powerful Creator-God.
Job 13 is about the need for Jesus as arbiter between man and God. Job desires that God would speak with him and state the sin that has been charged against him. What Job doesn’t seem to understand is that there is no way he could stand before God and be sinless. He asks “how many” sins he has committed, which makes it seem like he is relying on his own “goodness” to make him right before God. He doesn’t understand that if you break one Law, you might as well be guilty of breaking them all. Job needs Jesus’ righteousness if he wants to have any chance of “standing” before God.
Job 14 very blatantly points out the hopelessness of man, his total depravity. Job knew the only thing he deserved was death. The chapter also alludes to God’s amazing power to overcome man’s depravity. “You will cover over my sin,” Job says. “You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.” Job prophesies the gospel call. He sees that God would desire communion with His people and that He would somehow forgive His people’s transgressions, though I doubt Job had any clue how God would do it. Job 14 is about the need for Jesus.
Job 15 is about those who have not, and will not, trust Christ. Job’s friend speaks of these as being “marked for the sword,” a sword which Jesus will wield in the last days. Eliphaz also speaks out against those who would put their trust in “what is worthless,” saying that they will “get nothing in return” for their trust. Earlier in the chapter, he says that the man who does not trust in God will, by God’s own words, be carried away, a phrase that in Hebrew, literally means “brought to an end.” Then, at the end of the chapter, Eliphaz describes those who do not look to Christ for their salvation as a wilted and dying olive tree, a parallel to the tree in the New Testament that dies at Jesus’ word.
Job 16, from verse 6 to verse 17, is a great insight into the thoughts and feelings of Jesus from the time of His arrest to the time of His death. The scripture speaks of God crushing Him and of people mocking, and even piercing Him. Verse 11 says, “God abandons me to evil men, and throws me into the hands of wicked men.” Verses 16 and 17 speak very powerfully of Jesus, saysing, “…my face is reddened because of weeping, and on my eyelids there is a deep darkness, although there is no violence in my hands and my prayer is pure.”
In verse 18, we step out of Jesus, and back into Job. From verse 18 through the rest of the chapter, Job calls out to JESUS. “Even now, my witness is in heaven; my advocate on high.” He calls Him his intercessor and his friend. “He contends with God on behalf of man…” Job is longing for Jesus to speak to God on his behalf. Job knows that he is sinful and therefore unable to talk with any merit with God. Job knows that he needs an Intercessor to go before Him and to vie for him in front of the Father.
JOB 17: JESUS IS BETTER
In chapter 17, Job explains why his hope in Jesus is better than any other hope. Job summarizes his personal struggles, saying his spirit is broken, he is ready to die, and he is mocked. In verse 3, he declares where his hope is, saying, “Make then my pledge with you [Jesus]. Who else will put up security for me?” In the next verse, Job again acknowledges His sovereignty. Job goes on to further describe his plot, saying how his life has taken such a dramatic change, how his friends have been unfaithful, and how he hopes for death because of the peace it will bring. Job says, indirectly, that his faith is in God and not in other things (ideas or earthly things). If his faith was in something other than God, he would ask, “where then is my hope? And my hope, who sees it? (verse 15)” In verse 16, Job asks the rhetorical questions, “Will it go down to the barred gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?”
JOB 18: WITHOUT JESUS
In chapter 18, Job’s friend Bildad tells of a horrific picture of a person without Christ. He speaks of pain and agony. He speaks of loneliness and discontent. In the end, Bildad sums it up by saying that this is the place that is deserved by those who do not know and love God.
JOB 19: THE SUFFERING OF JESUS
In chapter 19, Job is making accusations against God. He says that he has been treated unfairly, that God has wronged him. Obviously, this is not true, since we know that God is a just God and never unjustly brings punishment on His people. It is possible here that Job is confusing punishment for spiritual pruning and testing. It is also possible that Job is more sinful than we know that that the punishment is just. Either way, God remains just.
Somewhere around verse 9, we see Jesus. The way Job describes his suffering is incredibly similar to the things Jesus would have gone through after His arrest and while on Calvary Road. “He has stripped me of my honor and removed the crown from my head… he tears me down… his anger burns against me… he has alienated my brothers from me… my kinsmen have gone away; my friends have forgotten me… I am loathsome to my own brothers… when I appear, they ridicule me… those I love have turned against me… I am nothing but skin and bones… for the hand of God has struck me.” Like Isaiah says, Jesus would be considered stricken by God, marred beyond the appearance of a man.
A final reference to Jesus in the chapter comes when Job says, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth… I myself will see Him… how my heart yearns within me!” Job 19 is about Jesus!
JOB 20: PUNISHMENT FOR THE WICKED
In chapter 20, Job’s friend Zophar describes the wrath that will fall on those who have not trusted Jesus as their Savior. He describes the torture that follows the depravity of man and states that man cannot save himself from it; a call for Jesus.
JOB 21: A CALL FOR JUSTICE
Job replies in chapter 21, complaining about the fortune of wicked people. He calls out and appeals to Jesus for justice. The justice that Job seeks will come through Jesus, one of two ways. For the sins of Believers, justice comes on the cross of Christ. For the sins of the wicked, justice will come on the Day of Judgment when Jesus will judge the living and the dead.
JOB 22: GRACE
Eliphaz gives Job a lesson about grace. He asks him if there is anything Job can do to benefit God. The answer is obviously no, because God has no need for anything. Eliphaz also points out sin that is in Job’s past, which condemns him and denies his privilege of lobbying before a holy and righteous God. “Submit to God and be at peace with Him,” commands Eliphaz. He goes on to say that this is the way to true riches (Christ). “If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored,” he promises. In the final verse, Eliphaz defines grace for us, saying, “He delivered even one who is not innocent.” Job 22 is about the grace of Jesus.
JOB 23: ATONEMENT
In the 23 chapter of Job, Job longs to stand and plead his case before Jesus, the judge. He knows that God sees all and that He is in control. He knows that God is righteous, and He knows there is a Savior to save him from His deserved judgment. Job 23 is about the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
JOB 24: A CALL FOR JUSTICE
Chapter 24 is a passionate outcry for justice to be done in the world. Job lists off many, many things in the world that he feels are unjust, and he longs to have God deal with them. He cries out to God, asking why he must wait on the Day of Judgment. Without knowing it, Job is crying out for the cross. He wants fairness. The penalty for sin is death, and Job wanted sin to be repaid. What He did not know is that much of that sin (or all of it, depends on what you believe) would be paid for on the Cross of Christ. It is a demonstration of God’s sovereignty that He does not always punish sin immediately, but rather, gives grace for His own purpose sake.
JOB 25: I NEED A SAVIOR
This chapter talks about man’s depravity, his sin nature, and his intrinsic need for a sinless Savior, Jesus.
JOB 26: CREATOR JESUS
Job 26 is a testament to the awesome power of Jesus. In the NT, Paul tells us that Jesus created all things and that in Him, all things continue to exist. We see this here, as Job declares the glory of God by observing the works of His hands.
JOB 27: THE ONLY HOPE
Job 27 encourages us to store up our treasures in heaven with Jesus, instead of storing up earthly treasures that we could never hope to keep. The NT tells us that all true riches and power are in Christ, and that we should therefore put all of our hope in Him. Job, probably inadvertently, says the same thing here. Because man cannot be righteous on his own, Job says, “For what hope has the godless when he is cut off?” Jesus is the only hope.
JOB 28: MAN’S SEARCH FOR WISDOM
Chapter 28 is an artful depiction of man’s search for wisdom. Job tells the story in such a way to imply that man will forgo many other things for the sake of attaining wisdom. The man that is searching doesn’t seem to bat an eye at the fire, the gold, or the sapphires. He hardly takes notice of them, except to list what they are, and then he moves on in his search. The point here is that no matter how hard a person searches, no matter how far he digs or how high he climbs, wisdom is found nowhere else than in Christ. James, the brother of Jesus, encourages those who seek wisdom to go straight to the source and ask God for it. Paul, in the NT, proclaims that in Christ are all wisdom and riches, and since Christ is eternal, the same was true in Job’s day. At the end of the chapter, Job finally finds wisdom when he proclaims that it belongs only to the Lord.
JOB 29: A STOLEN CROWN
In chapter 29, Job longs for the days before his trials. He recounts his popularity and fame, his fortune and his followers. Actually, we see Job pridefully trying to take the place of Christ, trying to be a functional savior for others. While we are commanded to imitate Christ, this is different than trying to replace Him. Job says things like, “I chose the way for them… I dwelt as a king… I was like one who comforts mourners…” Job’s attitude is not that of a humble follower of Christ, but of one exalting himself. What an embarrassing thing, to have to stand before Christ and have Him take back the crown of authority that you have stolen from Him. Unfortunately, we probably all do this in some respect.
JOB 30: THE HUMBLING OF JOB
In chapter 30, Job laments his situation. In stark contrast to the previous chapter, we see the complete brokenness of Job, which was probably part of God’s plan, for He says, “the humble will be exalted, and the exalted will be humbled.” The good thing here is that even though Job is suffering, he has not lost faith in God. He knows that God is in control and that God is supreme. Job is broken in this chapter, as we all must be before we can come to Christ.
JOB 31: SAVED BY FAITH, NOT BY WORKS
Chapter 31 makes it fairly evident that Job is trusting in his own works and lack of sin to make him righteousness enough to overcome the charges of his “accuser” (v35). He knows many of the things that he is to not put his faith in, such as his money and wealth (v24), but he is still trusting in his own works, rather than the work of Christ, God’s grace. In fact, the first verse of chapter 32 says his friends stopped talking to him, “because he was righteous in his own eyes.” At this time, the cross had not yet been revealed on the earth, but it was very apparent that people were only saved by the favor of God’s hand, and not by their own works. Noah was not a righteous man, but the Bible says that he found favor in the eyes of the Lord, and only because of that were he and his family spared. We see Job going through a list of sins, citing what he has never done. The lesson to be learned here is to never give God a list of sins. His list is far longer than yours, and He will ask about the sins that are not on your list, much to your chagrin. Job must put his faith in God through Christ, and not in his own “goodness.” Paul says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9). Christ is the only Way to righteousness.
JOB 32: THE FREE WILL OF THE SPIRIT
Chapter 32 is a turning point in the book of Job. Job’s friends will speak no more in the book, and Job will only speak once more. Elihu, a younger man will be the only speaker until God finally speaks at the end of the book. Elihu becomes angry with the failing faith of Job’s friends and with the pompous, self-righteous attitude of Job. He is angry that Job’s friends did not point out Job’s folly and that Job was more interested in defending himself and making himself look good than making God look good. Elihu is a Christophany, a type of the One who was to come. Like Christ, Elihu was humble in his approach to those around him, especially those who were older than he. Elihu admits to being younger and less learned, but proclaims the freedom of the Spirit of God to empower even the young to speak the truth of God. When Jesus was just a small boy, He taught the Scriptures in the synagogue, led by the Spirit to be sure. Jesus was incredibly humble while still being incredibly authoritative. Elihu is the same in chapter 32. Job 32 is about Jesus.
JOB 33: THE SCANDAL OF GRACE
Job 33 is the perfect story of the undeserved grace that God bestows on sinners, through the cross of Christ. It’s clear that Job is a sinner. He is prideful and tries to stand before God on his own righteousness. Elihu begins to explain to Job some of the mysteries of God that have been revealed to him. It is a stunningly accurate description of what Martin Luther calls “The Great Exchange,” in which man’s sin is exchanged for Christ’s righteousness. Elihu declares, “His (man’s) soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator… to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him.” Praise God! Elihu talks of a mediator and a ransom! The Bible declares, “There is only one Mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus.” In Matthew it says, “For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” In verse 26, it says, “He prays to God and finds favor with him… he is restored by God to his righteous state.” This is an incredibly important verse. The Hebrew word for favor here is translated as the Greek word for “grace.” In Genesis 33, Jacob prays to the Lord that he might find grace in His sight. The word grace here is translated from the same Hebrew word for favor in Job. The other severely important thing to note from Job 33:26 is that we are restored “by God,” not by anything that we have done, can do, or will do, but by Him alone. Verse 27 confirms this, saying, “I sinned… but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul!” Of course, this is all about Jesus. None of this is possible without the cross of Christ. Christ is our ransom. He is the Propitiation and Expiation for and of our sins. He is the Mediator who stands between us and God and “takes the bullet” for us. This is the Gospel of Grace that Elihu declares to Job.
JOB 34: LORD OF CREATION
In chapter 34, Elihu continues to speak. He declares many things about God that will most famously be credited to Paul. Paul says that Christ is the Creator of all things, and that in Him, all things continue to exist. Elihu says that if God withdrew His breath from creation, all mankind would turn to dust (v14-15). He also speaks prophesy about Jesus: “Although I am right, I am considered a liar; although I am guiltless, His arrows inflict an incurable wound.” When Jesus came to earth, much of His public time was spent with the poor and the destitute. Elihu states that God shows no favoritism because all men are a product of His hands (v19). Job 34 is about Jesus.
JOB 35: WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.
In chapter 35, Elihu tells Job how the sinfulness or righteousness of man does not affect God. God does not need our righteousness, even if He desires it. It may grieve Him when we sin, and bring Him glory when we are righteous, but it is only by His power and through the crucified Jesus that we may truly be righteous. Job 35 tells us what Paul affirms in the NT, that “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
JOB 36: JESUS IS THE ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE
Job 36 is about God’s sovereignty, power, and justness. Because God is sovereign, His will is done. When He speaks, the things He speaks are accomplished. Because He is powerful, all creation should fear and tremble before Him. Pride should be demolished. Because He is just, no sin is done by Him and no sin will go unpunished by Him. These three attributes are also the reason why Christ’s work on the cross is acceptable. Because of His sovereignty, His will to see mankind be saved is accomplished by Jesus. Because of His power, Jesus is able to overcome sin and death for the sake of the elect. Because He is just, the punishment for sin was not simply forgotten, but laid upon Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross.
JOB 37: CHRIST THE LORD
In chapter 37, Elihu continues to tell of God’s sovereignty. One of the things that he points out is that the same storms that bring disaster on men also bring rain to keep everything alive. Elihu, also very correctly, points out the fact that God has many mysteries that are not for men to know. It is simply not our job to know all the mysteries of God. Rather, we must have faith in Him who is always faithful. The properties ascribed to God here are (obviously) concurrently ascribed to Jesus. Though Elihu probably didn’t know it when he said it, the NT scriptures confirm that Jesus has all power and authority (Matt 28, and many others) and in Him the world holds together and continues. Job 37 is definitely about Jesus.
JOB 38: THE LORD SPEAKS
In Job 38, the Lord responds to Job’s cries. He barrages Job with questions about the beginning of the earth, about the rules that govern the waters, about the obedience of the stars to God, and about the beasts of the earth. Job could not help but be humbled by the powerful words of the Lord. God points out that He made all things. This coincides perfectly with Paul’s words in the New Testament, telling us that in Christ all things have been made and all things are sustained. Jesus, the eternal God, is ruling and reigning over all times and all places and all of creation. Jesus has all power and all authority, and He tells us in Job that all things obey His command. Job 38 is about the supremacy of Jesus.
Chapter 39 is simply a continuation of chapter 38. God continues to questions Job about the beasts of the earth, showing Job just how well He knows them and what control He has over them. Again, be reminded that Paul declared that in Christ all things were made and all things continue to have their existence.
JOB 40: ATTRIBUTES OF CHRIST
In Job 40, we see God list off very specific attributes that He alone has. Since “He alone” includes Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, these are also attributes of Christ. The Lord declares Himself to be just (v8) and guiltless (v8). These line up perfectly with what we know of Jesus in the NT. He was always fair and just to everyone and completely sinless. In Job, the Lord also declares that He is powerful (v9). Though Jesus rarely showed physical strength, He was not timid in showing spiritual power over disease, demons, and the powers of the world. The Lord declares that He is adorned with majesty and excellency, and clothed with honor and glory (v10). Jesus humbles the proud (v11), much like He did to the “rich young ruler” or even to some of the Pharisees. At the end of the chapter, God tells Job that it is only a person that is capable of these things that is mighty enough to save themselves or anyone else. When God said that, you know He had to be thinking about Jesus.
JOB 41: JESUS, MIGHTIER THAN LEVIATHAN
Job 41 is all about the mysterious “Leviathan,” some kind of beast that God describes to Job. Some speculate that it is a dinosaur or a dragon, but it is simply unclear. God describes it as big, powerful, dangerous, armored, and fire-breathing. He says that arrows, stones, clubs, and swords will have no effect on it for they will not be able to pierce it. The full description is almost scary. However, God never uses any negative words to describe it. He does not say it is evil or wicked. God says, “I will not keep silent about its limbs, and the extent of its might, and the grace of its arrangement.” (v12). The end of the chapter assures us that the Leviathan is the greatest of any beast to ever walk the earth. But the most important part of the whole chapter is found in the first few verses. We see that the Leviathan submits to God; it fears Him. God could physically subdue the beast by Himself. The Leviathan will actually speak to God and become His slave. The Trinitarian God of the Bible is more powerful than the Leviathan! Jesus is more powerful than the Leviathan; He created it! Yet, He allowed Himself to be crucified, scorned for the sin of mankind. Jesus fought death and won, something the Leviathan obviously didn’t do (as we have no huge, fire-breathing beasts roaming the earth currently). Jesus is mightier than the Leviathan!!
JOB 42: THE GOSPEL
As would be appropriate, the book of Job ends with a parallel of the Gospel. The story prior to this chapter shows us Job’s suffering. In that, he has literally cried out for a mediator between man and God. It has been apparent the depravity of man, through both Job and his friends. Up to chapter 38, Job was stuck. There was absolutely nothing he could do about his situation. He tried many things, but they did not work. His friends tried to console him. They tried to rebuke him. They tried to educate him. None of these things did any good for Job’s life. It wasn’t until God spoke in chapter 38 that Job’s eyes were even opened to his sinfulness. God humbled Job, broke him, and caused him to see his depravity and the need to repent. The final time that Job’s words are recorded in the book is in chapter 42, after God finishes speaking to him. Job repents of his sin, and God forgives and restores him. God then brings him into blessing. This is the gospel: that we, mankind, are sick with the disease of sin, and we need a Savior. But the sick cannot help the sick. We need Someone who has overcome sin and death. We need a Mediator, one who can stand between us and God. In God’s providential timing, He allows us to see our own wickedness and our souls are so abhorred by it that we can do nothing but repent and run to the only Person that can save us, Jesus. What we find is not a life lacking the previous, sinful pleasures of our old lives, but a life filled with the abundance of Christ; joys we never knew existed in our past life. Most importantly, we are privileged with the opportunity to see Christ, in glory, seated at the right hand of Power. We will fall down and worship one day, next to Job and other saints, around the eternal Creator. Job 42 and the whole book of Job are about Jesus.