My Advocate in Heaven (Job 16:19)

Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
And my advocate is on high.

Job 16:19

Job is going to say a lot of things that God is going to hold his feet to the fire over. But this is one statement that is repeated in multiple formats throughout the book that God never once reproves Job for. This, for all that Job feels keenly that his suffering is somehow God’s doing, is a statement of faith that there is Someone in Heaven pleading Job’s case.

The NT tells us that this Advocate; this Mediator is none other than Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5 says that Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and human beings. Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24 all refer to Jesus as the mediator (we might say arbitrator or negotiator) of a new covenant. And Hebrews adds that our mediator is in Heaven.

All of this adds up to a statement of faith in Christ from one who is being pressed down and poured out. Paul would later write to the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 4:7-12):

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

Job would also prove out this statement in that he would eventually repent of his foolish statements and God would readily forgive him. Job’s “friends”, however, God will instruct to go to Job and ask him to offer sacrifices on their behalf and to pray for them. Job is marked out as their intercessor by God Himself. Job’s relationship with God is deepened by this experience and his knowledge set to rights. His “friends”, on the other hand, never repent or give any indication that they think they have spoken amiss. Their connection to God is based on what they’ve heard from others. Job’s is based on experience of walking with God.

As Job said then, so I can say now: My witness is in Heaven and my Advocate is on high. Jesus, as one NT writer puts it (Hebrews 7:25), lives to make intercession. He is always ready to go to the Father and plead my case. Yes, I have done wrong, but Jesus’ blood is pleaded as my defense. His blood is the only defense I have.

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