Christ In The Old Testament 3    

   There is a rule of thumb I like to use that can help me in making sure I’m not interpreting a scripture, or a story, or parable, or event, or person out of context and making it about "me". None of the Bible is about me and not one event recorded in the Bible has my name on it. At the same time all of the Bible is for me and instructs me and guarantees me I can know the truth and the truth can set me free of sin and death. The same goes for everyone else who has ever lived since the last book was written and for everyone who will live until Christ returns. In recorded human history only a relatively few people had their name written in the Bible. Who can remember the names Euodia and Syntyche? These two names were mentioned by Paul the Apostle in Philippians 4 verses 2 and 3. Apparently they were good help to Paul and in spreading the gospel yet he’s telling them to settle a disagreement and asking others to help them. Their names are in the Bible for having a disagreement with each other and an Apostle is telling them to work it out. This is just an every day life occurrence that has happened to all of us at one time or another yet our names are not in the Bible as an example of life at the time in our local community as these two women from Philippi. We’ve all had disagreements with a brother or sister and we’ve all had to work it out. But not one of us have our names written by an Apostle as part of the Holy Scriptures inspired by God for everyone’s learning and growth as a Christian. Or as examples of two Christians having a disagreement that causes an Apostle to implore us we fix it.  That would be worthy of a face palm huh?

I came to realize long ago the Bible is almost entirely about Jesus the Christ, the son of God, and the plan of salvation God had all along for all of us. And after studying passages in the New Testament which reference Old Testament people or events as types I began finding types of Christ in many places in the Old Testament that I hadn’t considered before. For now I’m staying with those which are referenced in the New Testament. I’ve already written about Adam being a type of Christ, the serpent on a pole fashioned by Moses as a type of Christ, and now this one will be about Jonah.

 When the Pharisees rejected Jesus remember from scripture how they would try to trick Him, deceive Him, and play word games on Him but He was able to silence them with simple logic and truth. For example in Matthew 22 in verse 41 Jesus asked the Pharisees about the Christ “Who’s son is he?” They told him “The son of David”.  Then Jesus asked them Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?

If we didn’t have the answer from the New Testament we too might not know how to answer it. The thing with them is, they were Jews who knew the Torah and all it had to say about the Christ. Yet when the Christ came the vast majority didn’t know Him. Peter tells us all how the question has a logical and prophesied answer in Acts 2. Peter tells us David was writing about a resurrected Christ who would sit at the right hand of God the Father.

In Acts 2 verses 29 through 33 Peter quotes from David and explains clearly the question the Pharisees couldn’t answer when Jesus asked them how is it King David called his son Lord? Peter said;

“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

“Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne“he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

“Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

David called the Christ Lord because he was speaking of the resurrected Christ that Peter and the other Apostles and many more were witnesses to. But the Pharisees could not comprehend it because they had hard hearts and didn’t want to comprehend it when they were talking to Jesus and He asked them the question.

And that, the Psalm of David speaking of his Lord sitting at the right hand of His Lord, is an example of why I have been looking at the Old Testament more and more as mostly about Christ. The Pharisees missed it and they were one of the strictest sect of the Jews who should have seen the signs given. The Sadducees were the scholars of the day and didn’t see Jesus in the Old Testament scriptures. By studying we can see Christ even in places the New Testament doesn’t mention. Of course Jesus did mention Jonah and indirectly points to the sign they would see of Him. To be fair we have the advantage of looking backwards from the fullness of time while they were living the fulness of time. Galatians 4:4-5 and when the fulness of time did come, God sent forth His Son, come of a woman, come under law, that those under law he may redeem, that the adoption of sons we may receive; and because ye are sons, God did send forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father!'

 God sent His son when the time was right. The prophesies and metaphors and allegories and apocalyptic messages of the coming Messiah were all being fulfilled during the life of Christ. Jesus said this about Himself being the fulfillment of all these things concerning Him in Luke 24; 44-48

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. “And you are witnesses of these things”.

We might ask ourselves why didn’t they see the fulfillment of the law of Moses and the Prophets and Psalms concerning Him being eye witnesses? Well most people still don’t see it and never will even though it has been finished for almost 2000 years. And other than the comparisons to Jonah Jesus Himself told them about and written for eternity, we can overlook some types and shadows written of Him if we do not study and realize the scriptures are for our learning and not written about us as some seem to believe they are. Paul said in Romans 15:4  For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 Through the book of Jonah we can see Jesus the Christ through the commandment to Jonah to preach repentance to Nineveh a gentile nation just as the Apostles were commanded to preach to the gentile nations. Or we can see the antitype of baptism Peter wrote about in 1 Peter 3:21. Jonah was buried in water and God brought him out and saved him out of the water alive and fit to preach repentance to the gentiles at Nineveh. As an antitype Jonah prayed for death to escape his misery while Christ willingly suffered torture and went to the cross. Christ did pray If it is the Fathers will “let this cup pass from me” while Jonah didn’t ask for God’s will but for his own will be done. We as flesh and blood can understand Jonah not wanting to suffer. Another antitype we can see is in Jonah 4:3 Jonah was angry and wanted to die after he obeyed God and preached to gentile Nineveh because of the Lord did not destroy them after they obeyed the Lord and repented. The Lord saved their lives because of His love for all men and Jonah wanted to die because he despised gentiles. It’s easy to overlook these things if we only hear a sermon once a week and never open our Bibles. Jesus’s own example of His comparison to Jonah is found in at least three places. in Matthew chapters12 and 16 and one in Luke chapter 11. In Luke’s account in chapter 11 Jesus says a wicked and perverse generation seeks a sign and Jonah was a sign to Nineveh. And that the men of Nineveh would rise and judge that generation for they repented at the preaching of Jonah and one greater than Jonah was with them. Of course the greater than Jonah was Jesus Himself and they rejected Him.

In Matthews account in chapter 12:40-41 Jesus says this;

“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

“The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.”

Jesus was telling them the only sign they would see would be His resurrection after being dead for three days. And In Matthew 16 verse 4 

Jesus tells the Pharisees and Sadducees once again they are a wicked and perverse generation and the only sign they would be given is the sign of Jonah, which would be His resurrection after 3 days.

There’s a lot more to compare and contrast concerning Jonah and Christ. But I will end this here and later I will write another Christ in the Old Testament article. I hope these are helping someone even a little. I know they’re helping me study.  

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