SHADOWS AND IMAGES OF CHRIST in the Word – a Devotion for 9 December 2016 Anno Domini
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
John 5:39 (all scriputre is from the King James Version only)
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)
As I was reorganizing my study early this morning, I came across a little paper that had belonged to Bishop Dees that Mrs. Hoffman had sent to me many years ago. It gave a very brief outline of the manner in which Christ is pictured in every Book of the Bible. I will use that paper as an outline for today’s devotion, but it will not be possible to cover the subject in detail. A summary will satisfy our purposes for a devotion.
I will forego the explanation I have previously given of how Christ is mentioned in the very first verse of the Bible and go on to those more prodigious and profound revelations of Christ in both the Old and New Testaments.
In Genesis, Christ is the Seed of the Woman. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) There is a further allusion to Christ in the same chapter of Genesis in which the first death on earth occurred – the death of an innocent animal whose hide God used to cover the nakedness (sin) of Adam and Eve. That innocent animal whose blood was shed was precursor to the wholly innocent Lamb of God to be sacrificed for our sins some four thousand years hence. Moreover, the Seed promised to Abraham was a prophetic reference to our Lord.
In Exodus, Christ is revealed in the Passover Lamb that was slain without spot or blemish whose blood covered the Children of Israel and spared their homes the visit of the Angel of Death that terrible night in Egypt. God spoke to Moses and said: “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:3-7)
In Leviticus, Christ is the Atoning Sacrifice. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.” (Levitucus 23:26-28) There is no atonement apart from Christ. These burnt offerings were merely similitudes of the greater and final offering of Christ in the fullness of time.
In Numbers, He is the Smitten Rock of the Mountain of the Lord (Mt. Horeb). “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.” (Numbers 20:10-11) To the beasts present the water was of a common nature; but to the people, it possessed a sacramental nature because it preceded directly from God. God had not told Moses to strike the Rock, but rather to speak before it. Out of anger with the murmuring people, Moses struck the Rock twice. This aroused the wrath of God: “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12) Owing to this sinful indiscretion, Moses and Aaron would not set foot into the Promised Land.
In Deuteronomy, He is the Prophet. The Lord said to Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
In Joshua, Christ is the Captain of the hosts of the Lord. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15) This Captain of the Hosts of the Lord was the pre-incarnate Christ. How do we know this? There are two profound reasons to know this: 1) If the Personage had been an Angel, he would have refused the worship of Joshua, but this Personage did not. 2) The Captain ordered Joshua to remove his shoes for the ground round about was Holy. Wherever God is present, that place is Holy just as was the ground before the Burning Bush at which Moses had removed his shoes..
In Judges, Christ is foreshadowed in the Deliverer – there is only One! “And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.” (Judges 3:9-10) Who DELIVERED the King of Mesopotamia? It was the LORD! He is the only One who can deliver us from the sting of death.
In the Book of Ruth, Christ is reflected in Boaz, and Ruth is a type of the Church. Naomi is a type of the Old Testament Church that fostered the New. Boaz was the near kinsman that typifies that Heavenly Kinsman who “…sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, He is the Promised King of Kings. The people of Israel had been led by their King out of Egypt and throughout the Wilderness journey with a strong hand and many miracles. Their King was the Lord; yet they desired a king like all of the other peoples. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:4-5) Fallen man does not desire God as their King – they prefer a worldly king. But the Sovereignty of all nations resides in Christ Jesus! The people of the world haven’t changed much from that time.
In Nehemiah and Ezra, Christ is the Restorer of the nation of Israel. He foreordained and anointed Cyrus to send a company of Israel back to Jerusalem to restore the fallen walls and the foundation of the city. Cyrus acknowledges this in Ezra: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 1:1-4)
In Esther, Christ is the Advocate for His people. (see also 1 John 2:1)
In Job, Christ is revealed as the Redeemer in plain language. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)
In Psalms, the Lord is our Song: “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.” (Psalms 40:3)
In Proverbs, our Lord is Wisdom: “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.” (Proverbs 2:10-11)
In Ecclesiastes, God is our Purpose: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” (Ecclesiastes 12:1) If we remember God in our youth, the forgetfulness of old age will not lose Him.
In the Song of Solomon, He is our Prince Charming and the only One who can satisfy our cravings. “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” (Song of Solomon 2:1-2)
In the prophets, He is the Coming Prince of Peace. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
In the Gospels, He is God in Christ, Emmanuel, come to redeem us. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
In Acts, Christ is the Life and Light of the Church. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”(Acts 4:32-33)
In the Epistles, Christ is the Risen Lord at the right Hand of God the Father. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34)
In Revelations, He is the Coming One with great power and might leading the Armies of the Hosts of Heaven. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelations 19:11-16)
POSTSCRIPT: I am sure that, after reading the first entry in Genesis about Christ, you recognized, as I did, the abject foolishness of properly covering Christ in all of the Scriptures, because Christ IS ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES! So I must settle for a very simple summary that I hope and pray will stir up a curiosity in our hearts to learn more and more of the Beauty of Christ from Holy Writ.