When Sources Of Power Fail, The Redeemer Still Lives

Text: Job 19:23-27

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

We, humans, are weak and helpless. However, we rarely like to admit it. We also do not like to admit all the things from which we derive our power and strength – the various people, institutions, and resources that prop us up in this life. We like to think that we stand on our two own feet. But in reality, we really don’t. We depend on many things in our lives. We borrow power from all sorts of people, institutions, gadgets, and resources. We could say that we live off ‘borrowed power.’  

As little children, we borrow a lot of power from parents, siblings, and even teachers. In our younger years, though, we then shifted to depend on our health, optimism, and youthful strength, combined with assistance from others to get us started in life. Later on, in advanced years, we depend on our wisdom, our experience, and various resources that we have accumulated, as well as the medical community. The point is, we link ourselves to other things to help us in this life. And in so doing, we can live in the illusion that we are not weak or helpless. In fact, that is the great myth that too many people believe.   We don’t like to admit that we are helpless and weak, and we certainly do not like to admit all these things that we tap into for power and strength.   

But as you already know, life happens, showing us that nothing is entirely secure in this world. Whether it is a natural disaster, turmoil in the world, a failing economy, declining health, or something else, well… nothing is permanent, and that includes all the things that we borrow power from. That is right, every person, institution, and gadget ends in dust, ashes, and ruin.  

If we were to read more about our Old Testament reading from Job this morning, we would hear how Job once sat in ashes and dust for seven days to consider the ruins of his once-great estate. You see, Job had lost everything, and sooner or later, the same will be true for you and me.  

Now, it does not give me great joy to say this to you today; after all, it is Easter Sunday. However, you and I cannot appreciate the profound impact of Easter Sunday if we are still living with the illusion that we are not weak or helpless. We cannot appreciate the power of the resurrection if we are still propping ourselves up with borrowed power from all sorts of people, institutions, gadgets, and resources.  

But truth be told, when we consider the reality that we are weak and poor, it causes us anxiety. To realize that we depend on all sorts of borrowed power gives way to fear. And we don’t like anxiety and fear. Nonetheless, to this, we must say, “GOOD.”  Yes, good!  

But why good?  

Dear friends, when all our finite ideas, tricks, plans, and resources of so-called power are demolished in our minds due to anxiety, we are brought to reality. Indeed, we must come face to face with the reality that we were brought out of our mother’s womb naked, and we shall return to the womb of the earth naked. That is to say, we brought nothing into the world and will bring nothing out.   We leave the world just as destitute as we entered it.   

But how can this be good?  

Consider our Old Testament Reading from Job the 19th chapter again. Job rightly acknowledges that his flesh will be destroyed – becoming food for worms. He has no hope in his resources. No confidence in other people. No reliance on any institution and no special gadgets. But why the confidence? Why the assurance? Why the certainty? It is right there in Job’s confession. Job says, 

“I know that my Redeemer lives.”

Baptized Saints, Jesus lives today. He rose from the grave. He is Job’s Advocate, Vindicator, and Redeemer. Jesus is the one power that Job clung to when all else was lost. Job knew that the Redeemer would be the One who would step on this earth on the great last day to call him out of the grave of death. That is right; on the great last day, many millions of bodies that were buried in dust and ashes will feel the influence of Jesus’ mighty power. And then, in the twinkling of an eye, many millions of people will rise from their graves – with Job – and be joined alive with the Redeemer Jesus Christ.  

Dear friends, if you have anxiety in this world due to faltering and flimsy people, institutions, gadgets, and resources – good! Yes, good. It is not healthy to have saving faith in these people and things, for these people and things cannot rescue your body from death. As already stated, every person, thing, institution, and gadget, ends in dust, ashes, and ruin, but not your Jesus.  

Baptized Saints, listen up! Your Redeemer, Christ Jesus, did not stay in the grave to become dust and ashes. Jesus did not rot in the tomb. His flesh did not become food for worms. But He rose from the grave, and He is alive today at the Father's right hand, never to taste death again. And unlike everything else, His power is lasting life to you, me, and Job.   

Job, knowing this, was consumed with anxiousness. Not the kind of anxiety from despair or fear. But instead, Job was consumed with anxiety – the kind of excitement in your gut that makes you want to shake. Job’s gut and heart were turned upside down because he rightly knew that he would stand on dry ground someday and see Christ with his own bodily eyes, even though his earthly life was literally falling apart.  

And so, today, the simple truth is that the tomb is empty. Jesus is not there. But He is coming back for you and me again. And this simple truth is power to you and me as we muddle through this life together. In other words, whether our times are good or bad, we will be alright, for Jesus is risen and will not forget you and me in the grave. Whether we have many friends, resources, gadgets, and assistance, or none – we will be alright, for Jesus is risen and will not forget you and me in the grave.  

And so we do not put our hope in human leaders, institutions, gadgets, and resources, for none of these can save us. When these things die and fall apart, they return to dust along with all their false promises and clever ideologies.  

But you, O Baptized Saints, you have the Creator of heaven and earth. You have One who does what He says. You have One who defends you, feeds you, sustains you, and will someday resurrect you, as He is resurrected today. This One is your Redeemer who lives today for you.  

In the name of Jesus. Amen.  

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