23 ¶ Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. 28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? 29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
What follows is what makes this chapter one of the greatest in the Bible. Here, Job wishes that what he is saying was recorded in writing. Well, it is. Elihu, a young man who is witnessing the dialogue between Job and his friends, is writing this book. Read chapter 32. Notice these verses;
15 ¶ They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. 16 When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) 17 I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.
Job wishes that his words were written with an iron pen and lead in, “the rock for ever!” They have been, been written in the testimony left to us by “the Rock,” who is Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Job says he knows that his Redeemer is alive and that He will stand on the earth in the last days. How is that for a prophecy from close to two thousand years before Christ? Job goes on to say that Job himself will see this redeemer with his own eyes even though, by then his body will have decomposed into nothing. So, Job here speaks of a resurrection from death, that he is fully expecting to happen so that he will physically, not just spiritually, but physically see his Redeemer, who we know is Christ, the Son of God, or the visible form of God. This is a physical resurrection of a physical body. Without the resurrection Christianity is just another religion created by man, a monstrosity of oppression and deceit.
Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Isaiah spoke of a resurrection a thousand years after Job.
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
And Daniel a few hundred years after Isaiah.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Ezekiel also spoke of a physical resurrection although many insist this is metaphorical, simply about the restoration of Israel. I believe it is, on its literal level, physical regarding flesh and blood.
Ezekiel 37:1 ¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
In the record of Paul’s debate with the religious leaders of his day when he was first arrested the proof of the belief in the resurrection is evident.
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question…8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust…21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
The Resurrection is the primary doctrine of Christianity, for without it, saying that Jesus Christ was God means nothing. Without the Resurrection, belief in the judgment of sin in eternity is a stupid and vain oppression of the spirit of man. If we die and cease to exist we have nothing but self-righteousness in this life if we are religious.
Paul said it like this;
1Corinthians 15:12 ¶ Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
As noted before, in Leon Macbeth’s The Baptist Heritage, early seventeenth century Baptists held the resurrection of the dead as one of the six fundamentals of the doctrine of Christ in Hebrews, chapter 6. (28)
It is primarily by belief in Christ’s resurrection that we are saved from an eternity of destruction and agony, the natural fate of all mankind.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Job warns his friends that they should be concerned about the judgment they face by the false standard they set up. They have accused him falsely and God’s wrath awaits them. He says that the things they accused him of are found in them. God’s people are warned about the standard they use to judge other people as it is the same standard by which they will be judged.
Matthew 7:1 ¶ Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
I doubt many Christians could stand up to the same judgment they use for other people. There is only one standard by which mankind is judged, that of Christ Himself. You are not being compared to other people. You are being compared to Christ, so we all fall short, even the most “righteous”.
(28) Macbeth, The Baptist Heritage, Kindle edition, ch. 2.