“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. “And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” — Job 19:25-27 (NIV)
I know. I am convinced. I am confident. I know that God IS, that God lives, that Christ my redeemer will one day stand upon the earth.
“How do you know?” is the obvious and very fair question. How can we “know” anything with any certainty about a God who is invisible and who has allegedly “spoken” through mysterious encounters with witnesses who are long dead and gone?
I go back often to Hebrews 11:1, which says: “Faith is confidence in things we hope for and believing in things we cannot see.” But faith isn’t knowledge; faith is different than knowing.
I have hope of the sort that the writer of Hebrews talks about. I have hope that life has a purpose, that it isn’t a random series of meaningless accidents. In other words, that there is a God behind the curtain. I have hope that my death, whenever it happens, will be the beginning of something else, not the end of everything.
I have hope that I will be found acceptable by God as I pass through that dark ending into His light, and I have confidence that if I am found acceptable, it will only be through the redeeming sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, not anything I have accomplished.
But again, Job says “I know!” Can we know, or do we just talk ourselves into a comfortable place by shutting out the unpleasant alternatives?
Perhaps I have merely talked myself into “knowing”, but I don’t think so. For me, I am convinced and have crossed over from “maybe” to “yes” as a result of years of considering Jesus, the Jewish rabbi at the center of the Christian faith and the subject of the New Testament writers.
I am convinced that those writings are not mythology, but faithful accounts of what witnesses heard and saw and experienced, witnesses who were not predisposed to believe, but came to the same “I know” place that I have because of their personal encounters with Jesus Christ.
I’m convinced that Jesus was God’s emissary to all of humanity, and more than that, God’s gift of salvation to all of us, God’s personal invitation to join his family and experience his love, his truth, his wisdom about how to make the most out of this gift we’ve been given, life.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that I will one day see him with my own eyes.