Scripture Study Course - Contents
edited by Don Schwager
What is a type
The Old Testament is full of “Types” of Christ (God’s Anointed Son and Messiah). These are intentionally placed in the Scripture to describe and identify the Messiah when he came. They were designed by God to prefigure some aspect of the person of Jesus Christ. They are Old Testament “anticipations” of Christ and since they dealt with a future person (the Messiah), they were “prophetic.”
Some “types” are people, such as Melchizedek who was both a priest and king without end (Psalm 110:4 “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”), or Isaac, the only begotten “son of promise” (Hebrews 11:17) whom Abraham was prepared to slay as a sacrificial offering to God (Isaac carried the wood for the sacrifice, and was bound and laid upon the wood, but was substituted by a lamb which God provided for Abraham).
Some “types” are things such as Noah’s Ark and the Temple. The Temple in Jerusalem represented God’s dwelling with his people. Jesus told the Jews, “destroy this temple (referring to himself), and I will raise it in three days” (pointing to his resurrection).
Some “types” are events or ceremonies and feasts such as the Passover, Day of Atonement, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Pentecost. Each of them beautifully picture some aspect of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ hundreds of years before his Incarnation – when the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1).
Two other words, copy and pattern, are also used in a similar way in the Scriptures. A copy or pattern gives us a sketch, draft, or outline that foreshadows or serves as a type of the reality that will be revealed in Christ when he comes.
Both Adam and Christ are called the son of God in the Scriptures. Both entered the world in a unique way. Both entered the world sinless. Both were appointed as God’s representative and “head” of the human race. Paul the Apostles tells us that Christ is the second Adam, the perfect and obedient Son of God who reverses the curse of Adam’s disobedience and fall.
Isaac is the only son of Abraham. He pre-figures Christ in several aspects:
His miraculous birth/Sarah barren, old (Gen. 17:15-19); Christ’s miraculous birth (Luke 1:34-35)
Isaac is declared “only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17); Christ is only begotten Son (John 3:16)
Isaac was offered up as a sacrifice to God (Genesis 22); Christ offered as sacrifice (Romans 8:32)
Isaac being brought back to life is a symbol of Christ’s resurrection (Hebrews 11:19).
1. Both were loved by their father (Genesis 37:3).Melchizedek
Jesus is explicitly compared with Melchizedek in the New Testament (Genesis 14:18-20) because both held the position of Priest and King for eternity. (Hebrews 5-7; Genesis 14/ Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6)
Melchizedek’s name means “King of Righteousness.” He ruled over “Salem” which means “peace.” He was the King of Peace. As a Priest, he was superior to the Aaronic priesthood of the Jews in the sense that even Abraham, (great-grandfather of Levi – Aaron and the priests of Israel all came from the tribe of Levi), paid tithes to Melchizedek. The Letter to the Hebrews makes the argument that even Aaron paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham.
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