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  • Eric Kampmann

The Cost of Discipleship

I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer;

I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me

ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.

You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me

about in the storm. I know you will bring me down to death,

to the place appointed for all the living.

—Job 30:20–23

Job’s suffering causes him to cry out to God. He is experiencing pain and misery and he cannot fathom why this is happening.

We, on the other hand, see a fuller picture. We are witnesses to the beginning, when “the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them” (Job 1:6). We see Satan challenge God’s claim that Job is “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). And we see how Satan lays one catastrophe after another on Job to show God that even a man as righteous as Job will turn on God in the end.

To Job, it seems that God has abandoned him. For us, there is an echo of the cry of despair that will be heard throughout the world: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1). It is the cry of another righteous man, Jesus of Nazareth, who has been nailed to a cross on a small hill called Calvary, outside of the gates of Jerusalem.

God’s purpose behind this terrible event is redemption and restoration, but it can only begin when His one and only Son takes all the sin of the world upon Himself: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.... But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6, 8). When we consider Job’s suffering and all that it suggests, we see a foreshadowing of the cross of the suffering servant, Christ, for the redemption of a world separated from God.

—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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