When I was a kid, I will never forget transferring to a new school. In our small class, there was one boy who was a giant. He towered over the rest of us, with his head in the place that the Apostle Paul referred to as the “third heaven”. He played on our basketball team, and my plan was very simple–pass the ball to the giant kid and let him score.
After our first game, his parents and siblings came up to congratulate him on a demonstration of complete domination. Everyone in his family was a giant. His mom was even taller than he was. His sister was about the same height. They had an obvious family resemblance.
In the Bible, the family of God also has some curious resemblances. Many Old Testament characters bear resemblance to Jesus, who is of their family line.
In the first Adam we see a lot of resemblances to Jesus, who Paul calls the “last Adam”. The first Adam sinned in a garden, sinned at a tree, was naked and unashamed, brought thorns, and unleashed condemnation on the world. The last Adam bled for sin in a garden, atoned for sin on a tree, was stripped nearly naked and bore our shame, wore a crown of thorns, and brought salvation to the world.
Like Abel, Jesus was godly and killed by an ungodly “brother”. Like Abraham, Jesus left His father’s home and ventured to a new land. Like Isaac, Jesus carried his own wood to lay down his life for His father. Like Jacob, Jesus wrestled with God in Gethsemane. Like Joseph, Jesus was betrayed by his brothers, thrown in a hole, wrongly arrested, and chosen as King to save a multitude. Like Moses, Jesus was a prophet of God who led the people of God to deliverance from a hellish kingdom. Like Job, Jesus was innocent and suffered while his friends were of no help. Like David, Jesus is a King who rules a Kingdom with the heart of a shepherd to care for people who are like sheep. Like Jonah, Jesus spent three days and nights in the darkness of death only to come forth and preach a message of salvation so that enemies might be saved. Like Boaz, Jesus redeemed for himself a bride that was battered and broken (Ruth and the Church, respectively). Like Nehemiah, Jesus is building an eternal home for His people (Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem). And, like Hosea, Jesus remains devoted to His unfaithful bride (the Church) continually forgiving and restoring her to relationship in love.
What is your favorite Old Testament image of Jesus? Why?
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