We have an Advocate
“Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high. My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. Oh, that someone would mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.“ – Job 16:19-21 NLT
There was a lot that Job didn’t know in the middle of all that was going on in his life. He didn’t know why he was suffering. He didn’t know why his friends were attacking him and accusing him of sins he had not committed. He didn’t know why all of his children had had to die. He didnt know what was going to happen to him. But he DID know one thing for sure: The answers to all of his questions and the solution to all of his problems was in heaven. He knew that his cries needed to be directed to God, not man. While men can and should provide comfort and support, that can’t ultimately solve life’s problems. Only God can.
Job cries out that God is his witness. Job may not understand why he is suffering, but he knows he is innocent and in the end, can count on God to testify to that fact. He is counting on it. In fact, he pleads that God would act as his mediator as well as his judge. He is asking God to perform both roles, because there is no one else he can count on. His friends think he is guilty. They wouldn’t even be good witnesses, let alone mediators. So Job is left with God as his sole source of comfort and support. Which is right where God wants us. He wants us to lean on Him and no one else. He wants us to come to Him and no one else.
The interesting thing is that, in spite of all Job’s uncertainty, he describes a relationship with God that each of us as believers enjoys because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, He is able to stand before God the Father as the One who met the requirements of the Law perfectly, lived a sinless life, could then act as the sinless sacrifice in our place, and pay the penalty that sin required: death. The result is that we have eternal life and Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father acting as our advocate and mediator. “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5 NLT). We have exactly what Job was asking and longing for – an advocate, a representative who stands before God and speaks on our behalf and defends our righteousness. Because when God looks at us, He does not see our sin, but He sees us covered with the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are righteous in His eyes. And even when we do sin, Jesus acts as our advocate, reminding God the Father that the price for that sin has already been paid. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1 NASB).
Job inherently knew that God was the one to turn to in a time of need. He knew that God could be trusted to judge impartially and fairly. He knew that God was the only one who could be a reliable witness. Yes, Job was struggling with doubt and despair. He was questioning everything, but he knew that he could count on God in the end. How much more so should we? We have Jesus Christ as our advocate. He is our faithful representative, standing before God the Father and acting on our behalf, pleading our case before the throne of God. That is where we need to turn. That is who we need to trust. “For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate” (Hebrews 9:24 NLT).
Father, I can’t thank You enough for this reminder that I can come right into Your throne room with confidence that I am well represented by Jesus. He is my advocate, but He is also my sin substitute. I stand before You as sinless and holy, because of what He has done. When things take a turn for the worse in my life, I do not have to stand before You in fear, wondering if You are punishing me for some sin I have committed. My sins have all been paid for. The punishment has already been meted out and Your judgment has already been satisfied. Keep reminding me that I can turn to You and I can trust You to act favorably or propitiously on my behalf. You love me. I am Your child. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men