An Empty Grave for Empty Lives
Illus. A Dog Named Lucky
A man and wife who both had hearts of gold desired to adopt a pet that needed a good home. One day while visiting the pound, they found their new dog. He was born blind, he had lost a leg after being hit by a car, and he was losing his hearing due to a tumor. They took the dog home and called him “Lucky”.
Have you ever felt like this dog?
Heave you ever felt like life dealt you a bad deal?
Listen to this man’s situation, and maybe you will feel better about yours:
- He lost all of his possessions at one time.
- He lost his entire business and his employees.
- He lost all of his children in a violent storm.
All of these occurrences happened on the same day.
- If this wasn’t enough, he soon lost his health to a very painful disease.
This man’s name was, Job.
Job was a man who suffered greatly.
Everything that would bring comfort, happiness, and security to 90% of people was taken away.
All he was left with was a nagging wife and three self-righteous friends.
Did he ever get down? You bet he did. But he knew that this life was not all that there is. He about lost all hope in this life, but his hope in a life to come was strong and vibrant.
Although Job lived on the opposite side of the cross and the empty tomb than we do, he knew that the resurrection of Jesus Christ played a vital role in his future hope.
READ, Job 19:25-27a
Job speaks of three assurances:
1. Job is sure of his inevitable death.
In verse 26, he speaks of the destruction of his skin. This is a way of describing the decay that will happen to his physical body after his death.
Benjamin Franklin said that there are two things that every person can be certain of, death and taxes. Some, however, have found ways to not pay taxes.
Unless the Lord returns in our lifetime, everyone will die.
The Bible says:
you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment
I know that this is Easter morning and many of you don’t want to hear the gloominess of hearing such a message, but I would be doing all of us a dire disservice if I didn’t warn you about everyone’s impending appointment.
One day you will lie in front of a church, a funeral home, or at a graveside and people will gather around your casket as you are lowered in a hole. Dirt will be thrown on top of your coffin and there you will lie until you are nothing but dust. But this is not our end.
On the day you die, you, the real you, that is your soul, will continue on and you will go to one of two places: heaven or hell.
Be sure that there will come a day when you will die. But, more than that, it is important that right now, this very second, you know where your soul will go on in existence.
The reason why I say, be sure right now the state of your soul, because at this present moment you can make certain that your soul enters heaven and not into hell.
2. Job was sure of his immovable hope.
Job knew that this life was not the complete reality. He knew that there was a life that went on after he took his last breath and his heart beat for the last time.
and after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
Job’s hope was not within his lifetime. He had almost consigned to the belief that he would die in his state of suffering. This, however, wasn’t the case, because after he had suffered, God blessed him once again with possessions, children, and health.
But, when he spoke what is recorded in chapter nineteen, Job believed that his only hope was in was to come after he died.
The Apostle Paul put it like this:
1 Corinthians 15:19
If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
If all you are hoping in is contained within your life on this earth, you are going to be sadly mistaken.
Illus. Life is Like a Ladder
I have heard that life is like a ladder. Each rung that we climb to the top is to capture one more dream, one more success, and one more possession.
What a tragedy it will be for many when they find at the end of their lives that their ambitions were fruitless in regard to eternity and their ladder was not only empty, but leaning against the wrong wall.
At the top of Job’s ladder was God. The wall that his ladder was leaned against was God.
/And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another./
His hope for heaven was not to see his loved ones that had gone on before, or the streets of gold, or the eternal bliss. He desired more than anything else to see God.
Do you, like Job, have the assurance of being with God in heaven? Not a hope-so, or a I think-so. Are you 100% sure that if you were to die today, you would go to heaven to be with God?
Today, you can know for sure, and in just a few moments I will share with you how you can know with out a doubt that you will go to heaven when you die.
But first, I want to give you Job’s last assurance. It was this third assurance that made his hope for heaven possible.
3. Job was sure because of his immortal Redeemer.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
First of all, he calls God his “Redeemer”.
The Hebrew word for redeemer here speaks of what was called a kinsmen redeemer.
If an Israelite had lost his or her estate due to death or poverty, a kinsmen redeemer who was a part of that family could pay the price as the next of kin and buy back the heritage. This was the case for Naomi and Ruth in the book of Ruth.
We all have lost our heritage of heaven because of sin, but the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for the penalty we all owed because of our sin. He rose from the dead in order to secure eternal life with Him. Jesus is our “Redeemer”.
Job knew that God would send a redeemer not only to redeem the pain that he had endured in this life, but redeem the pain he had caused God because of his sin.
Second, Job said that his “Redeemer” lives.
Job knew that God was alive and the source of life.
That is what we celebrate today. Our Redeemer lives. Jesus is alive!
Not only is He alive, but because He is alive, He gives life!
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live
Because Jesus is alive, if you trust in Him alone for your salvation, He will give you eternal life with Himself.
Third, Job said that this “Redeemer” was His.
It is recorded earlier in this book that Job said:
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
Everything we have is not our own. Everything we have belongs to the Lord. Our homes, our children, our possessions, and our own bodies all must return to the Great Lender, Almighty God.
Truly, the only thing (one) we can possess is Christ. “I am His, therefore He is mine”.
Job knew that God was His “Redeemer”. Can you say that?
You may say, “I know He is a redeemer. I know He is the redeemer.” But can you say, “He is MY Redeemer!”?
Fourth, Job said that he knew that this Redeemer who lives was his.
Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you belong to Jesus?
Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are going to heaven when you die?
Do you know, that you know, that you know, that if you were to die right now you would see Jesus Christ as your Savior, Lord, and Friend?
Saving faith is not a “hope-so” faith.
Saving faith is a “know-so” faith.
I said earlier that I was going to share with you how you can know for sure that when you die, you will go to heaven to be with Christ.
First, you must admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Second, you trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Third, you must be willing to turn from sin and self and follow Christ.
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.