To The Reader,
We read in the Gospel of John, in the twelfth Chapter, that “certain Greeks” that had come to Jerusalem during feast days made their way to Philip asking, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” What a worthy request! This should be the desire of every honest, inquiring soul; every soul that is seeking after truth. Some have no desire for Him today. Others have preconceived ideas of the Person of the Lord Jesus, and it would take a miracle of Divine intervention to change their minds; something for which we should always be praying. Followers of the Lord spend their entire lives ever learning more about the One the writer of the Song of Solomon described as “Altogether Lovely.”
For our devotions this month, we will endeavor to do just what the “certain Greeks” were desirous of, we are going seek to see more clearly the Lord Jesus Christ. We will not be relying upon the opinions of men, but solely on the Word of God. Jesus said once, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) That is what we will be doing together in these devotional studies, studying the Scriptures for a greater look at the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that He might reveal Himself to us through His Word, giving us a clearer understanding and appreciation of our Blessed Redeemer.
Scripture Reading: Revelation 22:1-21
This may seem a strange place to begin our devotional thoughts on Jesus; the last Chapter of the last Book of the Bible. It really isn’t. In this Chapter, He is referred to as “the Lamb,” (verses 1 and 3) “the Lord God of the holy prophets” and the Lord of angelic beings, (verses 6 and 16) the One Who is coming, and Who will reward every man according to his work, (verse 12) “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (verse 13) the “root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star,” (Verse 16) and He is called “our Lord Jesus Christ.” (verse 21) All this requires further investigation in the Holy Bible in order that there might be a better understanding of the Person and Work of the Savior, “our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This certainly will not be an exhaustive study on the Doctrine of the Son of God. When John closed out his great gospel narrative, he wrote the following words, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) To that we would have to say, Amen! What we do have in God’s Word, however, is enough truth about the Lord Jesus to save every man, woman, boy and girl on this planet if they would just believe in Him. Let us pray that He would enlighten us through His Word, and that we could know more about Him that both died and rose again that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Amen!
April 2 - 3
Scripture Reading: John 1
The first Chapter of the Gospel of John is filled with the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. In the very first verse we read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here we learn of the Pre-existence of the Lord Jesus, and that He is very God Incarnate, or made flesh, “…and the Word was God.” Look at verse 3, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Not only is He the Pre-existing One, very God Incarnate, but also the Creator of all things. This will require a look back at the Book of Genesis.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Comparing the first Verse of John with the first Verse of Genesis gives us a very important truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ; that truth being that He is God, the Creator of all things. “…and without Him was not anything made that was made.” True Biblical Christianity teaches the Deity of Jesus. Note Paul’s affirmation of this in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” The prophet Isaiah confirmed this doctrine in Isaiah 9:6-7. Read that passage and note carefully the names given to the “Son” that was to be “given;” “The mighty God, The everlasting Father….” Look again at Genesis 1:1; “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. The Hebrew word translated “God” is “Elohim.” This word is the plural form of “God.” Compare this with Genesis 1:2 and 1:26. In these verses are seen the activity of God the Father and God the Spirit, and then the decree, “Let us make man in our image….” When we add to this the information given in John 1:1-3, we must conclude that the Triune Godhead (See Romans 1:18-21) was actively involved in the creation of the universe, with the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, being that Member of the Godhead through Whom all things were spoken into being. Paul teaches that in Colossians 1:15-17 where we read, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Therefore, we conclude that Jesus Christ is far more than just a man, the Son of Mary and adopted Son of Joseph. He is the Almighty and Eternal God Who was manifest in the flesh; the very Creator and Sustainer of all things. Again, the prophet Isaiah saw this in prophetic vision, writing, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (See Matthew 1:23)
A cardinal doctrine of true, Biblical Christianity is the Deity of Jesus Christ. This truth was revealed in multiple prophecies, and affirmed clearly through the teachings and writings of the Apostles of our Lord. This is an essential doctrine, and one that must be held to by faith. See Romans 10:9-13. His is “our Great God and Savior….” (Titus 2:13)
April 4 - 5
Scripture Reading: Genesis 18
We believe in the Deity of Jesus Christ, that He is God Incarnate. The word incarnate means “embodied in flesh.” Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” However, our first introduction to the Son of God was not in the Gospels of the New Testament. There were many preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.
One such appearance of the Lord, called in theological terms as a “Theophany” or a “Christophany,” is found in Genesis 18. Note the way the chapter begins, “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plaines of Mamre….” As Abraham “sat in the tent door in the heat of the day,” “three men stood by him….” We will see later, that two of these men were angelic beings that left Abraham and went on to Sodom to deliver Lot from the destruction of the cities of the plain. (Genesis 19) The “man” that remained behind and communed with Abraham was “the LORD.” (See verses 3,13,14,17,19,20 and 22-33) It becomes quickly obvious that the conversation that Abraham was having was not with an angelic being, but with the LORD. Keep in mind, however, what is written in John 1:18; “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) If no man has ever seen God, how can we explain who Abraham was communing with in Genesis 18. He was communing with the preincarnate Christ.
There were many such preincarnate appearances of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Examine Exodus 3:1-8. In this passage, Moses was confronted by “the angel of the LORD,” Who called and spoke to him our of the burning bush. Notice carefully verse 4-7. The “angel of the LORD” was a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. That phrase, “the angel or the LORD” is often a reference to the Lord Jesus appearing to men prior to His birth in Bethlehem. That certainly should not be difficult to understand due to the fact that He existed long before Bethlehem, from eternity past. Remember what Jesus said to John on the Isle of Patmos in Revelation 1:8,11; “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last….” As God the Son, He is the eternal and the Almighty God, and His appearances in the Old Testament were indeed “Theophanies” or “Christophanies.” Examine the following passages; Genesis. 22:11; 32:22-32.
Prior to His birth in Bethlehem, the Lord Jesus appeared several times in the Old Testament to reveal His will to men or to direct their paths. Consider again what we read earlier, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Of a certainty, this refers to His incarnation, His becoming flesh during the days of His earthly ministry. It also refers to those times in the Old Testament when He appeared to men and women in the form of a man, the “Angel of the LORD.” This is just another affirmation of the Deity of our Blessed Savior.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-11
“Sir, we would see Jesus,” and one of the ways that we can see Him is in Biblical typology. Typology is a fascinating study in Scripture, one designed by the Holy Spirit to introduce the Savior to the world through illustrations and foreshadowings in the Old Testament.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, there are two words that are used that refer to Old Testament “types.” Look at the word, “examples” in verse 6, and the word, “ensamples” in verse 11. Both of these words come from the Greek word, “tupos.” That Greek word is found 16 times in the New Testament. It’s first usage is in John 20:25 where we read of the “print of the nails” in the hands of the risen Savior. The “print” was the wound that had been left from the spikes used to nail Jesus to the Cross. The next time the word is found is in Acts 7:43 where Stephen refers to the idols that Israel had set up in the days of their idolatrous worship that brought about the judgment from God of the captivity. In this passage the word was translated “figures.” Then, in the very next verse, the word was translated, “fashion.” Here it is referring to the pattern that Moses was shown in the wilderness of the Tabernacle that he was to build. (Compare with Hebrews 8:5, where “tupos” is translated “pattern.”) These examples should suffice in giving us an idea of the meaning of the word, “tupos.” It is a “pattern,” a “figure” or a “print” of something else which it represents. Paul spoke of “examples” and “ensamples,” using the word “tupos.” Here, Paul is referring to the events of the wilderness journey of Israel, their being led by the “cloud,” their “passing through the sea,” their being fed with “spiritual meat,” and their drinking of the “Rock” that was smitten; all “tupos,” representations or illustrations of deep spiritual truths. A “tupos,” or “type,” therefore, is a Divinely appointed illustration of a spiritual truth. There are Biblical types in the Old Testament given in the form of persons, places, things, sacrifices and more.
Let’s look at a couple of illustrations of Old Testament types. We see this early on, in the Garden of Eden, when the guilty couple are standing before God in their “fig leaf” clothing. They were endeavoring to hide their nakedness from God. Their feeling of guilt and shame came from the fact that they had disobeyed their Creator and their spiritual vision was opened revealing their sinfulness before God. (Here, read Genesis 3) There are many spiritual illustrations provided in this event found in Genesis 3, but look specifically at verse 21. The “fig leaf” clothing that Adam and Eve had sewn together in an effort to hide their nakedness from God was the works of their own hands, their own human efforts to remedy the awful results of their sin. Human effort can never declare sinners just with God, and their “fig leaf” efforts were fruitless. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Only God could remedy the problems caused by the guilty pair’s sin, for only He was offended when His word was disobeyed and violated. (See Psalms 51:4 when David was confessing his sin with Bathsheba. Although his sin was against her, her husband and, in essence, all of Israel, David saw his errors as against God.)
The means by which God covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness is most important. God Himself slew an animal, perhaps a sheep, took of its “skin” and covered their nakedness. Again, this signified that only God could remedy the sin of humanity, and that could only be accomplished through sacrifice which He would make. Here was a beautiful illustration of a profoundly spiritual truth. A Supreme Sacrifice would have to be made for the sin of humanity, a Sacrifice that God alone could accomplish to make sinful humanity right with Him. Here is a “type,” or a Divinely appointed illustration of the greatest spiritual truth ever given to mankind; that God would make possible the justification of sinful humanity through the ultimate Sacrifice for sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, the very Son of God. Isaiah prophesied of this glorious event when he wrote, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3-5) Then we read in verse 10, “Yet it pleased God to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
The spiritual illustrations are clearly seen in Genesis 3. These events actually happened. An animal of some type was actually slain, and its hide used to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness before God. While it was an actual event, it was also a “type,” a “tupos,” a Divinely appointed illustration of a great spiritual truth. It illustrated for us in the Garden of Eden, immediately after the plunge of the human family into sin, the remedy for sin which would be the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross. This event was not humanity redeeming itself through the crucifixion the Savior, but was the Lord Himself giving Himself for the sin of humanity. Jesus said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh if from me, but I lay it down of myself.” (John 10:17-18) This wonderful sacrifice was beautifully illustrated in the slaying of the animal and the clothing of Adam and Eve with it’s skin. This event found in Genesis 3 serves as a “type” of the Lord Jesus and His offering of Himself for us on the Cross. Amen!
April 10 - 13
Scripture Reading: Genesis 6
As pointed out earlier, Biblical “types” can be seen in persons, places, sacrifices and ceremonies, and also in things. In the case of Noah and the great flood, there is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus in the Ark that Noah built that his family might escape the judgment of the flood. The judgment the world was facing in Noah’s day was a Divine judgment because of the sinfulness of humanity. Paul described the antediluvian world, a description that is applied to all unsaved humanity, in Romans 1, Verses 18-23. The vast majority of humanity in Noah’s day did not recognize their Creator, instead worshipping “birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.” This disregard for God led them into gross immorality and a great disregard for the sacredness of life. (Read carefully Genesis 6:1-7) It was a time of great wickedness, which is the natural result of a generation that fails to recognize God, His Word and His righteousness. By the way, the Lord Jesus said that the days preceding His Second Coming would be the same as the days of Noah. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:36-39) It is hard to imagine that it could have been much more vile and wicked in Noah’s day than it is in our day, which is just another indication to us that we are living in the days leading up to the Second Coming of Christ.
There was great wickedness in Noah’s day, and the Lord decreed that He would destroy humanity that He had created because of that wickedness. “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:7) All humanity is accountable to God, and all will stand before Him in judgment.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Noah was a man of faith in a world that was void of faith. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7) God appeared to Noah, informing him of the coming judgment and instructing him to build an “Ark,” a large floating vessel that would spare him and his family from the coming judgment. He was given the dimensions of the Ark and the plans for its construction. “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thous finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.” (Genesis 6:14-16) It would be only through the Ark that Noah, his family, and the animal kingdom would be spared the destruction of the flood.
The Ark is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom is found the only hope of eternal salvation. It was built out of “gopher wood,” a type of cypress. To insure the Ark to be water tight it was covered on the outside and the inside with “pitch,” or bitumen. Bitumen is the solid or semi-solid form of petroleum found naturally in “pitch lakes” or in bituminous rock formations. By covering the Ark with pitch, Noah was insuring that it would be carried above the waters, remaining dry on the inside. The Ark, this huge boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high provided for Noah and his family salvation from the storm of judgment that destroyed the world and its inhabitants. The Hebrew word translated “pitch” was also translated “atonement,” with the idea of a covering. Inside the Ark, Noah and his family were covered by the atoning power of the “pitch,” just as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have been declared right with God and protected from the judgment of sin through the atonement of the Savior. Noah was saved because he was “in” the Ark, while unsaved humanity suffered the awful judgment of the flood because they were on the outside of the Ark. The Christian is saved from the judgment to come because of being “in Christ,” “…if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus….” (Romans 8:1)
Upon completion of the Ark, Noah was called into the Ark, and was closed inside the Ark by the Lord. (Read Genesis 7:1-16) Salvation is not through the works of our flesh, but through the “grace” of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Genesis 6:8 and Ephesians 2:8-9) The Lord called Noah into the Ark and secured him safely in the Ark, just as the believer was called to faith in Christ and secured through that faith eternally.
Noah and his family were in the Ark for just over one year. While many have struggled with believing that God could thus spare the human family and the animal kingdom through the Ark, we believe the Bible to be true, including the account given of the great flood. Mankind and the animal kingdom were spared total destruction through the Ark. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ can mankind be spared the judgment coming upon all because of sin. And, just as the Ark served the needs of Noah and his family until they safely reached the other side of that vast destructive flood, all who place faith and trust in Jesus Christ are saved and secure until they reach that blessed place that He has prepared for them that love Him. Paul wrote, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) The Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
Through the flood of Noah’s day mankind is warned of his accountability to God, and the fact that he will stand before God in the final judgment. The events of the flood also instruct mankind that if he is to escape the ravages of sin and Divine judgment, he must come to God in the way that He has prescribed, and that way is through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) In Noah’s day, humanity outside the Ark perished in the flood. There were no second chances, no opening of the door once it was closed. So it will be with all humanity. Salvation is only available through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And, if sinners are to come to the Lord, they must do so during the “day of salvation.” (See 2 Corinthians 6:2) Noah’s Ark provides for us a beautiful illustration, a “type” of the Lord Jesus and His glorious salvation. Thank God for our “Ark!”
April 14 - 16
Scripture Reading: Genesis 22
“Sir, we would see Jesus,” (John 12:21) and He can certainly be seen in the offering of Isaac in Genesis 22. Isaac was that long awaited son that God had promised to His friend, Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3; James 2:23) He and Sarah waited twenty five years to see that promise fulfilled, and when Isaac was a teenager, the Lord instructed Abraham to offer his son up in sacrifice. “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Genesis 22:2) This, according to verse 1, was a test to the man of faith; a test of his obedience, trust and confidence in God. A reading of this account shows Abraham to have passed the test. In fact, we read that “Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.” (Genesis 22:3) There is an interesting revelation given concerning this in Hebrews 11:17-19 where we read, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Abraham fully intended to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice to God, and believed in his heart that God would raise the youth from the dead. That is faith!
This story is filled with pictures, foreshadowings or types of the Lord Jesus Christ. Abraham can be seen as a type of God the Father, willingly offering up His only begotten Son for the sins of humanity. Isaac, the willing son, is a type of the Lord Jesus Who came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father that sent Him. (John 6:38) Isaac willingly submitted to his father’s will, allowing himself to be laid on the altar upon the wood. There was no sign of reluctance or struggle on the part of Isaac, just complete surrender to his father’s will. O, what a glorious picture of the Son of God Who so willingly submitted to the Father’s will. He did not struggle or flee from crucifixion, but freely laid down His life to die for our sins. (See the following passages: John 10:15; 12:27; 15:13; Matthew 26:39; 1 John 3:16)
Abraham was obedient to the will of God, preparing the altar and the wood for a burnt offering, and laying his son upon the altar. He took the knife and drew it back to slay his son, but the Lord sent His angel to stop Abraham. The angel said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” Abraham looked up to see a ram caught in the thicket by his horn. God had provided a sacrifice to die in Isaac’s stead. Here, also, is a type of the Lord Jesus, our substitutionary sacrifice. Being caught by its horn, the ram was not hurt in any way, not marred or imperfect. As such, it pictured the perfect sacrifice for sin, He in Whom was found no guilt or sinful imperfections.
Our Lord Jesus is seen clearly in type in Genesis 22 in the offering up of Isaac. When Abraham and Isaac began their journey up the mount to the place of sacrifice, Isaac asked his father, “My father…Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” To this, Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering….” This could be understood two ways. First, only God could provide a sacrifice for sin that would be acceptable to Him. Only God can determine what is sin and what is not, and only He is offended with the awfulness of sin. Secondly, Abraham was saying that God would ultimately provide Himself as a sacrifice for sin. When the Lord Jesus, God Incarnate, condescended to this world to take upon Himself mortal flesh, He did so in order that He might die on Calvary for our sins. God provided a sacrifice for sin in Himself through the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body has thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:4-10)
Scripture Reading: Exodus 25:10-22
We are still examining types in the Old Testament as we endeavor to pursue the request of certain Greeks that came to Philip asking, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” In fact, the only way to understand any of the Word of God is to look for Jesus, for He is the message of God’s revelation to mankind. It would take a much larger work than this devotional book to examine all of the types found in the Bible, but hopefully our examples given will provide the reader with some direction for future studies in this fascinating hermeneutical approach in reading God’s Word.
There are many types found in the Tabernacle that was constructed in the wilderness after Israel left Egypt. These can be found in the materials used, the purposes and deeper spiritual meanings of the various articles of furniture, and in the sacrifices that were offered. There are pictures of the Lord Jesus found in the priests, their garments and in the functions they performed in their office as Israel’s representatives before God. Something as simple as the design and layout of the Tabernacle gives us a beautiful illustration of the Lord Jesus. Below, I will provide a drawing of the Tabernacle, noting the various articles of furniture. Examine it carefully and see if you can find any pictures or foreshadowings of our blessed Lord.
Notice the directional arrow in the upper right hand corner. The entrance of the Tabernacle faced east, or the rising of the sun. Every morning, when the sun arose, it cast its shadow across the entrance curtain, past the brazen altar and on toward the last article of furniture being the Ark of the Covenant. Therefore, every day there was a Divinely appointed illustration of the Lord Jesus in the layout of the Tabernacle, for the Scripture notes that it was a “shadow of good things to come....” (Hebrews 10:1) The entrance facing east was also a picture of the Lord Jesus, for He declared, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
This brief devotional study limits the time spent on each aspect of the Tabernacle in its types of the Lord Jesus. Our Scriptural reading was concerned with the Ark of the Covenant. It is the most inclusive picture of the Lord Jesus in all of the Tabernacle. For instance, in its construction, a beautiful illustration of our Savior can be found. In the drawing above, you can see the location of the Ark. It was placed in the Holy of Holies in the tent part of the Tabernacle, in the innermost part. That was a very sacred chamber in which entrance was forbidden for all except the high priest. He was to enter there only once yearly for the purpose of observing the Day of Atonement. (The specifications of this ceremony can be found in Leviticus 16.)
The Ark was not a large piece of furniture. It was basically a wooden box overlaid with gold. The box was 2.5 cubits long, 1.5 cubits wide and 1.5 cubits high. Figuring a cubit to be approximately 18 inches, the box was approximately 45” long, 27” wide and 27” tall. The box itself was built out of acacia wood, which is a very long lasting, hard and beautiful wood. It is a close grained wood that is harder than hickory and very durable. This wood was a picture of the humanity of the Lord Jesus, its durability representing the sinlessless and purity of the Son of God. Acacia wood today has many uses, including furnishings, flooring, and decorative items. When pressed, acacia produces oil that is used for medicinal purposes and also perfumes and skin care products. Little did the artisans that constructed the Ark out of acacia wood realize that in so many ways that small wooden box would illustrate the Blessed Redeemer Whose life, ministry and sacrifice would so greatly enrich and bless the redeemed of humanity.
The wood box was overlaid with pure gold; “And they shall overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shall make a crown of gold round about.” The gold represented the Deity of the Lord Jesus. One of the blessed mysteries of the Person of the Lord Jesus is expressed in 1 Timothy 3:16; “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh....” This beautiful mystery can be seen in the Ark, built of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Throughout the earthly ministry of Christ, His dual nature can be seen. A perfect illustration of this is seen in the incident surrounding the raising of Lazarus from the dead recorded in John 11. In His humanity, the Lord Jesus is seen standing among the mourners outside the grave of His friend. In John 11:35 we read, “Jesus wept.” There is His humanity; grieving alongside people that He loved over the death of a friend that was very dear to Him. In Verse 43, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” In the next verse we read of Lazarus coming forth above out of the grave after being dead for four days. There is the Deity of the Lord Jesus, commanding death to flee and raising the dead to life. The Ark of the Covenant in its construction was a picture, a foreshadowing of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. So much could be said here of the dual nature of the Son of God, but we must move on.
On top of the box built of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold, there was placed a covering that was made of pure gold. It was approximately one inch thick, 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. On each side of this covering, or golden lid, was placed a golden figure of an angelic being called a Cheribim. These Cheribims faced one another, with their wings raised high above their heads, forming an arch above the lid of the Ark. This lid was referred to as the “Mercy Seat.” It was here, upon the Mercy Seat, that the blood was sprinkled on the Day Atonement. (Leviticus 16) This offering was presented for the people of Israel, once yearly, for the sins of the people, that it might be declared, “that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” (Leviticus 16:30) Herein is a blessed picture, a type of the great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the atonement made possible through His shed blood.
Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the tables of stone that had been etched by the finger of God. Upon those stones were the righteous laws of God that condemned humanity because of their sin. Wherein the law condemned mankind, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ made salvation from sin’s condemnation possible. The law found its fulfillment in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and while the law condemned all humanity to eternal loss because of sins, the Lord Jesus satisfied all of the just commands of God’s Word, fulfilling every jot and tittle, (Matthew 5:18) and offering mercy to all who would come to God the Father by Him.
We cannot begin to examine all of the types of the Old Testament. There are many. Perhaps these few will suffice to guide you into the principle of Bible Study referred to as Biblical Typology. This study points out beautiful pictures, illustrations and foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ. Seek God’s wisdom and counsel as you endeavor to add this method of Bible study to your arsenal of tools in deciphering the precious Word of God.
Scripture Reading: John 5:30-47; Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; 22:11-24
“Sir, we would see Jesus,” and an exciting way to “see Jesus” is through the witness of Old Testament prophecy. When Jesus appealed to His adversaries to believe in Him, he made that appeal through the prophetic passages concerning Himself that can be found in the books of the Old Testament. The prophesies of the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus are many, and the clarity of their messages cannot be denied.
One such prophecy is found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, Verse 15. This prophecy was given in reference to the fall into sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and the curse passed upon them for their disobedience to God. It was actually presented to the serpent when the Lord said, “And I will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (the woman’s seed) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The “seed of the woman,” which is a prophecy of the virgin birth of the Messiah, was prophesied to “bruise” the head of the serpent, thus offering deliverance from the power of the serpent and sin to humanity. The bruising of the Messiah’s heel took place on Calvary, where He dealt a death blow to Satan, who had taken on the form of the serpent in the Garden. (Compare with Revelation 12:9; 20:2)
There in the Garden of Eden, at the very dawning of the devastation brought upon humanity because of sin, a blessed ray of hope shined forth through the first prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Genesis 12, we see yet another prophecy of the Savior through the covenant that was made with Abraham.
The childless Abraham was promised a “Seed,” and that through that “Seed” all the families of the earth would be blessed. Paul tells us that the “Seed” was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to the seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
Of course, Abraham’s seed refers to his descendants that would come from him, but it also refers to the Messiah, the Seed of Abraham. So, by the time we get to Genesis 12, we learn that the Messiah, the Deliverer, would be the Virgin Born One Who would come from through the descendants or family Abraham.
Just in passing, please note that antisemitism is a great sin perpetrated by the father of sin, the devil. To be prejudiced against the descendants of Abraham is a great evil that has been witnessed around the world for thousands of years. It is certainly not a recent phenomenon, but actually seems to have gained momentum in recent years. True followers of Jesus Christ could never truly be prejudiced against the Jews, for their Lord was in His humanity a descendant of Abraham, a Jew Who gave His life for His own.
Over the coming days, we will be examine some of the prophesies given in the Old Testament of our Savior. May He aid us in seeing these prophetic glimpses of His glorious Person and His gracious work of redemption.
Scripture Reading: Genesis 49:8-12
A prophecy of the coming Messiah can be found in some of the final words spoken by the patriarch Jacob to his sons. In endeavoring to “see Jesus,” we have examined prophesies that the Messiah would be born of a Virgin, (Genesis 3:15) and that He would be of the descendants of Abraham. (Genesis 12:1-3). In the prophecy made by Jacob prior to his death, we learn that the Messiah would be born of the Tribe of Judah. (Here, read Revelation 5:1-6)
In Jacob’s prophecy of the Messiah, we are told that He would be praised of his “brethren,” and that He would ultimately be victorious over his enemies, “thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies....” Because of this victory, His “father’s children shall bow down before thee.” This was a prophecy that the Lord Jesus would conquer is enemies, sin and Satan, and that because of that victory He would be worshipped by His “brethren,” the Jews. (Here, read Revelation 1:4-8; Zechariah 12:10)
Next we see that the “sceptre,” the kingly emblem of authority and power, would not depart from Judah, prophesying of the kingly authority of the Messiah. An interesting thought is expressed in the phrase, “nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering:1-6 of the people be.” “Shiloh,” is a title given prophetically to the Messiah. This was a prophecy that the kingly tribe of Judah would continue to be the ruling tribe until the coming of the Messiah. (Here, read Numbers 24:17; Psalms 60:7)
When “certain Greeks” requested that they might “see Jesus,” they were looking for the One of Whom so much was being said throughout the land in that day. However, were they truly desirous to see and know more about Him, they would have had to have examined prophecies such as are found in Genesis 49. The Messiah, the coming Deliver, was prophesied to be born of a Virgin, of the family or descendants of Abraham, and of the Tribe of Judah. He would be a Deliverer, One Who would completely defeat His enemies, thus providing deliverance for His own. He would be crowned a King, a King before Whom all people would eventually gather.
An interesting observation should be made at this point. No other book of the Bible has been attacked more than the Book of Genesis. The first recorded words of Satan are found in Genesis, words that speak volumes of his future efforts among the human family; “Yea, hath God said?” He has caused the majority to question the first book of the Bible, yet it is in this blessed book that we learn of the origin of sin and it’s devastating effects on mankind. Recorded also in the Book of Genesis are the prophecies of hope given to mankind of a Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would defeat sin and Satan and offer salvation to all. To truly “see Jesus” is to see the world’s only hope and only Savior. Praise God, beloved, if the Almighty has allowed you to see Jesus for Who and what He truly is, our Blessed Redeemer and Deliverer. Amen!
Scripture Reading: Genesis 22:8; Psalms 22; Isaiah 53
We are examining prophetic glimpses of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. The “certain Greeks” that came to Philip with the request, “Sir, we would see Jesus,” were asking him to take them to Jesus so that they could be introduced to Him personally. When informed of their desire, Jesus spoke of the coming hour of His suffering and death. In other words, Jesus was saying, “If you really want to see me, you will have to see me in connection with the many prophesies of My sacrificial death on the Cross.” (See John 12:21-26) To really see Jesus, to truly understand His Person and work, one must look back to those prophesies in the Old Testamant that pointed ahead to His death, burial and resurrection, and then compare those to their fulfillment recorded in the New Testament.
According to the Old Testament prophesies, the Messiah would be the One that would bring deliverance from sin and Satan, and that deliverance would be made possible through His suffering. This was first hinted at in Genesis 3:15, in the reference to His “bruised heel.” In Genesis 22:8, Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a sacrifice.” This saw a partial fulfillment in the ram caught in the thickets by its horns, (Genesis 22:13) but its ultimate fulfillment would be realized through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In our brief look at Biblical types, we mentioned the types of the Lord Jesus that can be found in the sacrifices and offerings found in the Levitical system. Each lamb, goat and turtle dove offered in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple, were pictures and foreshadowings of the great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. In Psalms 22, we get a most vivid and detailed picture of His sufferings on the Cross. In the great prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter 53, the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus is said to be that through which “we are healed.” “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Thus we learn that, before the Messiah could be crowned King, He would have to perform the duty of the Sacrificial Lamb. It would be through this sacrificial death that He could offer redemption and deliverance from sin.
Few in our world today understand the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Most consider this to have been the tragic end of short-lived life, a martyrdom of a religious figure that inspired millions to follow Him through the centuries. Many blamed the Jews for His death at the hand of Rome as though that death was an unexpected end. No, that is not an accurate understanding at all. As the “Lamb of God” that would “take away the sins of the world,” (John 1:29; Revelation 1:5; 5:5-6) that Lamb had to be offered in sacrifice in fulfillment of all the types and prophesies that the Old Testament had specified. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, the Virgin Born Son of God, descendant of Abraham through the Tribe of Judah, was prophesied from the beginning; a sacrifice that was essential for the deliverance of mankind from the horrible consequences of sin. To “see Jesus” clearly, He must seen as the Lamb slain in order that we might be saved. Have you ever seen the Lord in the light of that blessed truth?
Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Psalms 89:20-29; 132:11; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-3; Matthew 22:42-44
The Old Testament is filled with prophesies of the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. We have already seen that those prophesies included His Virgin birth, His family connection to Abraham and the fact that He would be of the tribe of Judah. His suffering was also prophesied both in the messages of the prophets and in the types that could be seen in the sacrifices and offerings. Another important prophecy of the Messiah was that He would be a Son of David. Paul referred to that fact in Romans 1:1-3; “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to to the flesh....”
There were many “sons” of David, beginning with Solomon, that sat upon David’s throne as kings over the Children of Israel. It is most obvious that the prophesies concerning the Messiah were not speaking of these sons and their relatively short reigns as kings. In 2 Samuel 7:13 we read, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” Then, in Isaiah 9:7 we read, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.” The Messiah was prophesied to be a Son of David.
Upon entering the New Testament, we read the following words, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” In that first verse, affirmation is given to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. Part of the proof that He is the Messiah is seen in the fact that He is the fulfillment of the prophesies concerning Messiah given in the first book of God’s Word; that He is a descendant of Abraham, and a Son of David. See the following passages; Matthew 1:20; 21:9,15. The believing Jews of Jesus’ day were familiar with the Scriptural description of the Messiah. Note the times that He was referred to as the Son of David; Matthew 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30,31; 22:42.
Now, admittedly, there were many “sons of David” in the land of Israel during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. And, unfortunately, there were some “sons of David” that sought to be Messiahs. There was, however, only one that met all of the requirements as being the fulfillment of the prophesies of the Messiah, and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. Facing execution, John the Baptist sent disciples to Jesus inquiring, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another.” (Matthew 11:13) There was no other. Jesus, the Virgin Born Son of Mary, the descendant of Abraham through the Tribe of Judah, is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Scripture Reading: John 4
“...I that speak unto thee am he.”
The woman that met Jesus at the well outside the city of Sychar was eternally saved because she believed the Lord Jesus when He said, “I that speak to thee am he.” She had said, “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.” Jesus affirmed to her that He was the Messiah that was to come, and she believed in Him that very moment.
When asked by the Lord as to Who He really was, Peter affirmed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Because of this affirmation of faith, Jesus called Peter, “blessed.” Truly, all who affirm in their hearts the Lord Jesus as the Christ are blessed. When the Greeks inquired, “Sir, we would see Jesus,” they may or may not have understood all of the prophesies concerning the coming Messiah, but to really see Jesus, they needed to see Him in light of the many prophesies that were given before to introduce Him to the waiting world. Jesus is the Christ!
Reader, have you been brought to that reality personally? Have you come to Him believing, and calling upon Him to be your Messiah? You certainly do not have to be a descendant of Abraham to enjoy the salvation that the Lord Jesus purchased on Calvary’s tree. You can be delivered this very hour by placing faith in Jesus Christ. Do so today!