Well, it’s December again, so it is time for a Christmas themed sermon series.  This year the sermon series is entitled, “Christmas: a time for celebration.”  The first sermon is entitled, “Celebrate the Redeemer.”  This will be preached Sunday, December 5th, 2010.

Christmas – a time for celebration part 1

Celebrate the Redeemer.

Job 19:21-27 NIV – 21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.  22 Why do you pursue me as God does?  Will you never get enough of my flesh? 23 “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll,  24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,  or engraved in rock forever!  25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!

Introduction: We are starting this years Christmas themed messages with a series entitled, “Christmas – a time for celebraton.”  This morning we are preaching from the subject: “Celebrate the Redeemer.”

For many people, the Christmas holiday season has very little to do with celebration.  There’s the stress of buying gifts for loved ones; the crazy-ness of the stores; the planning and attending of all those Christmas get together’s and parties; plus the traveling and all the debt that follows.

With all the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that what this season is truly about: God sent His Son to die to save sinners and to be raised from the dead for the sinner’s justification.

Romans 4:25 – He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Today we are going to look at what Job wrote and unpack it in light of celebrating our Redeemer coming.  Let’s begin.

A cry for pity and mercy. (verses 21-22).

Job 19:21-22 – 21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.  22 Why do you pursue me as God does?  Will you never get enough of my flesh?

We all need someone to be merciful to us.

  • Job’s friends in this book haven’t been very kind to him.  They have blamed him for his condition.
  • So Job cries out for pity and mercy.
  • I do not like the English word, “pity” the NIV uses here.  The ESV and HCSB both use the word, “mercy,” which I believe is more accurate.
  • The Hebrew word used for “pity” in the NIV is chanan (khaw-an’). It means, “to properly bend or stoop down in kindness to an inferior; to show favor; to be merciful.”

Notice Job says, “For the hand of God has struck me.”

  • While God did not personally strike Job with His hand, He did allow and even invite Satan to strike Him.  Notice the second conversation God begins with Satan concerning Job.

Job 2:3-6 – 3 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” 4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

  • Now we don’t  have the time to get into all the theological ramifications of this, so I want to just contextualize a little bit and focus on one thing: we all deserve to be struck by God: Why?  Because we are all sinners.
  • Not one of us deserves God’s pity and mercy.
  • But the story doesn’t end there.

What God reveals in Scripture can never be erased. (verses 23-24)

Job 19:23-24 – 23 “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll,  24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,  or engraved in rock forever!

  • Job is preparing to say something important.  He is about to proclaim a prophetic truth.  He wants this truth to be written in such a way that it will endure forever.
  • Before we move on to the next point, let’s look at a couple of things that God reveals that are written forever which will lead us into our next point.

Mark 13:31 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

  • Here Jesus proclaims that His words will never pass away.
  • The Gospel is eternal truths that are more everlasting than words written on stone with an iron tool.
  • What is this everlasting truth?  I believe Isaiah says it well.

Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD.  “Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

The Redeemer lives! (verses 25-27)

Job 19:25-27 – 25 I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.  26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.  How my heart yearns within me!

  • These verses reveal the truth that Job wanted written in stone.

He was yearning for the Redeemer. (verse 25)

  • Redeemer is the Hebrew word ga’al (gaw-al’). It means, “to redeem according to the oriental law of kinship; to buy back a relative’s property; to purchase, ransom, and redeem.”
  • This is more than just to buy back; but a relative buying someone out of slavery; a relative taking care of a debt.
  • This is what Jesus Christ has done!  He bought us back from the slavery of sin through the cross!
  • He paid the debt of sin by becoming sin for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • Jesus did this by coming to earth.  Notice what Job says in verse 25, “and that in the end He will stand on the earth.”

The truth of the resurrection.  (verses 26-27)

  • Job knows that he will be raised again and that this flesh that suffered will be made new and will see God.  He yearns for that day.
  • Believers in Jesus Christ have the ultimate hope – resurrection.  This body that suffered sorrow and pain will be made new and stand with our glorious Redeemer – Jesus Christ!

Conclusion: As we celebrate this Christmas, don’t forget to celebrate that our Redeemer lives!

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