Dr. S. Lewis Johnson teaches on the typological aspects of Christ's redeeming work.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the privilege and the opportunity of the study of the word of God. We thank Thee for the way in which the doctrines of the word of God have been set forth. We thank Thee for the wisdom which Thou hast shown in them, in which through the spirit we have come to, in measure at least, understand. And we pray tonight as we consider the great subject of the sufferings of Christ in Old Testament type that our minds may be illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and the truths that we come to understand may find a practical expression in our daily lives. We commit each one present to Thee and pray Thy blessing upon us now.
In Jesus’ name and for his sake. Amen.
[Message] For our Scripture reading before we begin our study of “What Has Christ Done?, or His Sufferings in Type,” we’re turning to 1 Corinthians chapter 5 and reading verses 6, 7, and 8. 1 Corinthians chapter 5, verses 6, 7, and 8. The apostle writes in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 in verse 6,
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
“What Has Christ Done?, or His Sufferings in Type.” Our teachers who instruct us in typology usually begin by stressing the misuse and over emphasis in preaching the type. For example, Berkley Michaelson, who has written a book on Bible interpretation has said, “No area of biblical interpretation needs more careful definition than typology.” And I want to say right at the beginning that we reject, by we, I mean thy at least, and I think most of you, we reject the bizarre typological exegesis of many who seek to see in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ. For example, in Revelation chapter 12 in verse 13 when we read about the woman who is helped by the two wings of the great eagle, we do not understand by the two wings of the great eagle, the United States Air Force or our U.S. phantom jets. When we read, for example, in Ezekiel’s vision in the first chapter of his prophecy of the living creatures and the wheels, we do not understand this of unidentified flying objects manned by the cherubim. Now recently, I did see and interpretation of Ezekiel chapter 1 along that very line. And the author, who is a well known Bible teacher, radio Bible teacher, suggested that perhaps this is an explanation of the UFO’s and the so-called sightings of them by so many of our citizens. I do not accept anything like that and I’m quite sure that you do not too.
On the other hand, in our fears of overdoing typology, we must not ignore what God has stressed. And I think any careful reading of the Bible will surely lead you to understand that the Bible is full of typical teaching. Bishop Marsh’s position which is, and has been, a popular position among Bible interpreters is surely wrong. The Bishop said a long time ago that, “Nothing is typical unless the New Testament declares it to be so.” Now, that is absurd. I think it is obvious to us as we read the Bible that there are many clear types in the Old Testament; clear examples of the ministry of our Lord Jesus which are not stated in the New Testament to be types. In fact, some of the types in the New Testament that are stated to be types are types that we would not at first glance see as types. For example, many of us probably would not realize at first reading that the veil of the tabernacle was a type of Jesus Christ. And yet, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says that that veil is a type of Jesus Christ in the 10th chapter of his book. We probably would not have seen that so soon in the reading of the word of God.
Another illustration is the case of Joseph. Joseph is not specifically stated in the New Testament to be a type of Jesus Christ, but it has been said by most students of the Bible that there is probably not a clearer example of a type of Jesus Christ than Joseph. And yet, the New Testament does not specifically say that Joseph is a type of Christ. On the other hand, it says that Adam is a type of Christ. And the striking feature about Adam is that Adam is a type of Christ in one particular and is contrasted with Jesus Christ in almost every other particular. They both were representative men and in this Adam is a type of Jesus Christ. Adam is responsible for the fall of the race. We fell in him. Jesus Christ is responsible for the salvation of the chosen and those who believe in him and become united to him are saved through him as their representative man. They are alike in that they are both representative men. They are unlike in almost every other way. And yet, Adam is specifically called a type of Christ in Romans chapter 5.
There are things which our Lord Jesus says illustrate him which we would not have so easily picked out of the Old Testament. For example, he regards himself as the anti-type of the Temple. He is the true Temple. He regards himself as the anti-type of Jacob’s ladder, as a careful reading of John 1 will show. He regards himself as the manna, as a reading of John 6 will indicate. He regards himself as the anti-type of the brazen serpent, as the reading of the Old Testament will indicate. He is the smitten rock, and he is the pillar of fire. By this, I mean of course, the anti-type of them. And yet, the word “type” is not used of any of these things. So the Bishop’s position is not the position that a student of the Bible should take.
Now, let’s set forth by way of further introduction, and I’m still on the introduction. The outline is on the board, as you know. The essential features of typology – before we look at some of the specific aspects of it. And let me say a word about the nature of typology first of all. Typology is the study of spiritual correspondences between persons, events, and things. And you will see from my outline, which we’re going to discuss, that these three things I have set forth right here in the outline. It is the study of correspondences between persons, events, and things or perhaps a better word “institutions.” Now, it is more than that. It is a study of the spiritual correspondences between persons, events, and things within the historical framework of revelation. That is, within the Bible. Typology is really prophecy conveyed through history. The Old Testament prophets frequently spoke of the “Coming One.” They spoke directly of him often. They spoke about, for example, in Psalm 110, they spoke about him who would be the high priest after the order of Melchizedek and they directly prophesied of him. Prophecy, we saw last time, has to do not only with “forth-telling” the expression of the mind of God, but it also includes “foretelling,” looking into the future.
Now, typology is a form of prophecy. It differs in the fact that it is a study of spiritual correspondences, but the correspondences are between Old Testament persons, events, and things, and the fulfillment of these things in the New Testament. So that typology is a form of prophecy. It is prophecy conveyed through history. Or we could put it this way, a type pre-figures. A prophecy foretells. Let me say another thing. The word “type” is not a technical term. “Type” means simply, example. The word typos that Greek word is a word that does not have any special significance. It means simply, example. Typos, or if you want to spell it out, usually is a epsilon is transliterated as a “Y” in English. T-Y-P-O-S. Typos. You would pronounce it typos. That’s where we get our English word “type.” It comes from the word that means, example. That’s all it means.
Another word. Why is typology valid? What is the foundation of typology? Well, it is valid because God controls all history. That is why we may have, in the Old Testament revelation which God has given us, that which pre-figures something in the New Testament because the same God controls all history. It is he who controls the children of Israel as they were in Egypt and came out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, into the wilderness, and ultimately into the Promised Land. It is God who controls history. It is God who controls the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. And since God is the one who has his hand upon everything, it is perfectly within his power to have the events of the Old Testament foreshadow the events of the New Testament. So that ultimately, it rests upon a philosophy of history. It rests upon the fact that it is God who controls history. Furthermore, we know that from the New Testament use of the Old Testament, the way the apostles used the Old Testament, that those Old Testament events were designed by God to express to us aspects of the ministry of our Lord Jesus and usually in illustrative fashion.
It is sometimes said that a type is a designed coincidence between an Old Testament event and a New Testament reality. I do not like that word “designed.” It suggests that there are lots of things in the Bible that are not designed. As far as I can tell, everything in the word of God is designed. And so, therefore, to say that a type is a designed correspondence is to state something that is really, in the final analysis, inane for a believer in the word of God.
Now, you can see from the passage that we read we have typology. We read in the 7th verse of 1 Corinthians chapter 5, “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” And there, the Apostle Paul clearly draws the analogy between the Passover institution of the Old Testament, the Passover event in which the lamb was slain, and our Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. He even calls our Lord, “Christ our Passover.” So the apostle believed in typology. He believed that it rested upon God’s control of history. He believed that the Old Testament persons, events, things illustrated the events of our Lord’s ministry.
Now, the examples of typology are manifold, and we’re not going to look at all of them tonight. It would just take us from now until the year 2000 to really expound all of the types of the Old Testament. You will notice that the types that I am going to select are types of one aspect of our Lord’s ministry. They are types of his suffering, suffering. Not types of his exultation, not types of his life, but types of his suffering. In other words, one aspect of our Lord. So we’re going to be looking at the men and the events and the institutions as they reflect the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
Now of course, the sufferings of our Lord are fundamental to the ministry of our Lord; perhaps the greatest event, or the greatest feature of it. And so naturally this is a large part of typology, but it is not by any manner of means, all of typology. So do not think that we are giving you tonight, typology “in toto.” That is not true.
Well, we’re going to look now at Roman I in our outline, “Christ’s Sufferings as seen in Typical Persons.” The examples of this form of typology are manifold, but I have selected three of them, Joseph, Moses, David. Now in a class like this, this is Systematic Theology, I presume that you know something about the Bible. So what I’m going to do is to just draw out the aspects of the character of each one of these men and the events of their lives that illustrate the relationship of the men to the sufferings of Jesus Christ. So I presume that you know that Joseph was an Old Testament character. I presume that you know that if you want to find the story of Joseph, you don’t go to the Book of Malachi, you go to the Book of Genesis. I presume that you know that Joseph was an historical character who lived before the time of Moses. Now, Joseph was a man who has been called “a man of dreams, dungeons, and diadems.” He was like Christ in many ways. For example, he was like Christ in the fact that he was the object of his father. Who was his father, by the way? My goodness. Good. Thank you. Two people know it in this entire audience. Well, I believe many of you know it. You’re just embarrassed. You just couldn’t bring yourself to speak out in the meeting, could you? The women were very careful. They didn’t know whether they could really speak in the meeting or not. This is not a meeting of the church. You’re welcome to come without your hat. And you can speak out on the question and answer time next Monday night too.
Joseph was the object of the desire of the heart of Jacob. Our Lord was the object of his father’s love and affection. Joseph received a commission from his father to his brethren. Jesus received a commission from his father to his brethren. Joseph was rejected by his brethren and sold into captivity. Jesus was rejected by his brethren and crucified. He came unto his own and his own received him not. Joseph lived a life of humiliation, imprisonment. Jesus was humiliated by the judgment of the Cross and by the deliverance to the death of the Cross. Joseph was exalted to be a ruler in Egypt. Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God the Father. Joseph acquired a bride in exultation. Jesus is acquiring a bride, the church, in his exultation.
That’s what it’s all about now. Did you know that? That’s what it’s all about, the body of Christ is being completed. That’s why we’re here. That’s why I teach the Bible. That’s why I preach the word. That’s why men called of God proclaim the message. That’s why evangelists preach. They are completing the body of Christ under the guidance and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Joseph was used to bring about the restoration of his brethren. Jesus at his second coming shall be used by the Father to bring about the restoration of Israel to the good pleasure of God. Now, I think you can see that in Joseph’s life, there are remarkable parallels to the life of Jesus Christ. And I do not think it is a mistake to say that Jesus is a greater than Joseph.
Now, the second character is Moses. Moses’ life also parallels Jesus Christ. And in the case of Moses, we have a New Testament preacher who expounds the typology of Moses and Christ. That preacher is Stephen and sometime when you have a chance read Acts chapter 7, for Stephen when he gives his Old Testament theology before the Sanhedrin, in the midst of it, points out the resemblance that exist between Moses and Christ. It is, of course, the means of condemnation of the generation of Israel to whom he was preaching. For Stephen points out that just as Israel rejected Moses and it was necessary for him to go into the wilderness, so they have rejected the “greater than Moses.” And now Jesus is in his rejection at the right hand of the Father so far as Israel is concerned. And so right in the heart of the message of Stephen is the likeness that exists between Moses and Jesus Christ. Moses said, “God is going to give you a prophet who is greater than I am, who is like unto me.” That prophet came, our Lord Jesus. He gave Israel the word of God. They rejected him, just as they rejected Moses. And it was necessary of our Lord to suffer, as it was necessary for Moses to suffer. So Moses is a type of Christ in his suffering. He is a typical person.
And finally, David. You know the story of David, I hope. You went to Sunday school. As a Sunday School pupil, you learned about David. Now, I must confess, I went to Sunday school, but I didn’t learn much. I learned, as I told you when I was expounding Jonah not long ago, that Jonah swallowed the whale, instead of the whale swallowing Jonah. At least, that’s what I thought I was listening to. As you can tell, I was not very attentive in Sunday school. But I did learn something about David, because I remembered David killing Goliath. And I knew that there was a great event in his life, and to me that was the climax of David’s life. Everything that he did after that was inconsequential. Now, as you know, when you begin to read the Bible, you discover that that was really the beginning of the ministry of David. Do you remember David’s experience? He was anointed as king. But then what happened to him? He was rejected. He was hunted by Saul. He was persecuted. He lived in rejection and while he was in rejection, he gathered to himself, a strange group of people, the depressed, the grumblers, and all kinds of ill-tempered people, the text seems to suggest. That, of course, is an illustration of what is happening to day. You see, our Lord has been anointed and installed as king by virtue of the word and the sacrifice of the Cross. But he is in rejection and he’s gathering to himself, a group of peculiar people, the Bible says. Now “peculiar” of course, does not mean peculiar in the sense of “queer.” You might think it from looking at the church, but it really means “peculiar” in the sense that we “belong to him.” But that’s what’s happening.
Then David, remember, entered into his kingship and he ruled and reigned as the great warrior king. Now, I overlooked one event. I shouldn’t have done it. I overlooked the fact that he slew Goliath. He was anointed as king. He slew Goliath then he went into rejection. Now these things are true of our Lord’s life. He was anointed as king. He was recognized as the Messianic king, as his Messiahship, inaugurated into that office, engaged in his Messianic ministry, and at the Cross slew Goliath. For there, he slew sin and death and Satan. But then, because of his rejection, he went to the right hand of the Father, and there he has been. But he shall come again and he shall rule and reign as king. And so the parallel between David’s life and our Lord’s life is obvious. That’s why he’s the “greater than David.” As a matter of fact, in the Old Testament when the Messiah is referred to as coming in his second coming, he’s even called by the name of David. For David means “the beloved one.” So David, Christ’s sufferings as seen in typical person.
The experiences of these men are experiences that parallel Jesus Christ. They parallel Jesus Christ because God controls history. He arranged it. Do you believe that? Do you believe that God arranged the history of David so it should reflect Jesus Christ? I do. Do you believe that he arranged the history of Moses so that it should reflect Jesus Christ? I do. Do you believe he arranged the history of Joseph so that it should reflect Jesus Christ? I do. Do you know why? Not because I’m a Calvinist, although I am. It’s because I believe that “he works all things according to the council of his own will,” as Paul states in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 13.
Now, “Christ’s Sufferings as seen in Typical Events.” And again, we’re only going to select a few of the most obvious, and the first is what? Right. The coats of skins in Eden. Well, let’s turn to Genesis chapter 3. This happens to be one of the first of the types in the Bible and I think that we all ought to be familiar with it. The coats of skins in Eden. Now you know of course that Genesis chapter 3 is the chapter in which the fall of man is described. And as I said to you when we studied Genesis 3 last spring, this chapter has influenced human thought in the west through the exposition and interpretation of it of men such as Augustine and Calvin, perhaps, more than almost any other chapter in the Bible.
The basis of western thought for many, many generations rested upon the understanding that comes from Genesis chapter 3 that men fell in the sin of Adam. Now, you know the story. The story is that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he gave them one simple prohibition. Everything was in their favor. He gave them every opportunity to obey, but there was one prohibition. They should not eat the fruit of the tree which was in the midst of the Garden. If they ate of that fruit of the tree then they should come to the knowledge of good and evil. They should know good but be unable to do it. They should know evil but should not be able to do anything but that. The result was that Adam and Eve sinned and because Adam and Eve sinned, men fell. And God came down into the Garden and what did he say? Bill Cosby says that he said, “All right, everybody, out of the pool.” [Laughter]
Now, there is a lot of truth in that. You know exactly what that means and that is precisely what he said really except in the solemnity of Genesis chapter 3. He first pronounced judgment, remember, upon the serpent. Then he pronounced judgment upon the woman. And finally, he pronounced judgment upon the man. But in the midst of the judgment, he gave the first Messianic promise. It is found in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed.” It, that is, the seed. Probably, should be rendered as “he.” “He shall bruise thy head. He shall crush,” the Hebrew word means “to crush,” “He shall crush thy head, a mortal wound, and thou shalt crush his heel.” He shall be wounded, but not mortally. Now, that is precisely what happened at the Cross because Jesus crushed the head of the serpent, the serpent seed, Satan and won a victory that was a victory of life and death. Satan was thoroughly and finally defeated, but he was wounded in the process, but not wounded mortally for on the third day he arose from the dead.
Well, Adam heard these words from God and then we read in verse 20, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve,” which is a word that comes from the Hebrew word chayah which means “to live.” And so Adam called Eve, “living one,” or something like that because she was the mother of all living. Now, what was this on Adam’s thought? Well, this was an expression of faith, was it not? He believed the word of the promise that out of the woman there should come someone who would crush the serpent’s head. And that’s why he said, “Eve, your name shall be living,” because in you there shall come the living one.
Now then we read, after Adam’s expression of faith in verse 21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.” Now, do you think that God did not have some divine purpose in making coats of skins and clothing them? Well, they were clothed in fig leaves, of course. Who made the fig leaves? Well, of course, the figs and the fig leaves came from the trees which were planted in the Garden and which were tilled and worked by Adam. So I think, in a sense, we could say those fig leaves were really a product of men culture. But God made coats of skins and clothed them.
Now, this is God’s response to Adam’s faith, and it doesn’t take much spiritual discernment to see that the truths that are stressed by verse 21 are first of all, the truths of sacrifice because in order to obtain the coats of skins, it was necessary for God to slay the animals. So he slew the animals and he took the skins from the animals in order to clothe Adam and Eve. There is the truth of sacrifice. Now strictly speaking, of course, Adam and Eve should have died finally too. They had died spiritually when they partook of the fruit, for God said, “In the day that thou eateth thereof, thou shalt surely die.” But God has said also that they would die physically ultimately. For as he states in the earlier verse, “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.” So instead of Adam and Eve dying, the animals die and so there is the truth of substitution that is set forth here.
And finally, the truth of salvation by the fact that they were clothed. In the prophecy of Isaiah in the 61st chapter and the tenth verse, there is a statement made by the prophet that, it seems to me, goes right back to Genesis chapter 3. And this is what Isaiah says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God, for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Garments of salvation. The robe of righteousness. These are the things that are expressed by the coats of skins with which God covered Adam and Eve in the Garden. And I think it’s true to say that in the case of the leaves they were the product, primarily, of man’s work. In the case of the coats of skins, they were provided by God. And there is a stress upon the fact that it is God who answers man’s faith with that which is typical of his salvation.
Now this, of course, is the beginning of the story of the Old Testament offerings which set forth the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the teaching of substitution and also the teaching of the conferring of righteousness on the basis of simple faith in the redeemer who is to come.
The next event is the Passover. Capital B – The Passover. What a great event the Passover is. Let’s turn over to Exodus chapter 12. Exodus chapter 12. You’ll remember that the children of Israel were in the process of being brought out of the land of Egypt. A contest had been carried on between Pharaoh and Moses, and God is going to win the victory. And he is going to win the victory, finally, by means of this great institution of the Passover. And in Exodus chapter 12, let me read a few verses.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying; This month shall be unto you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.”
And this of course, has tremendous significance with regard to the fact that men who believe in Jesus Christ are a new creation. So in a sense, here is Israel entering into her beginning as a national entity, a typically redeemed people.
“It shall be the first month of the year to you. 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 neighbor 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.”
Why? Well, because Jesus Christ was without, what? Sin. “A male of the first year. Ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.” Why? Well, just to be sure there was no blemish. How does that illustrate our Lord’s life? Well, he was here for thirty plus years, was he not? Did he sin? Oh, we could have said, “Jesus was here.” We could have, in a sense, have a redeemer who appeared on the scene, fully grown, ready to be offered as a sacrifice, but someone might say, “I don’t see any sin in him now but what about the past?” There would be no testing of the lamb and that’s one reason why our Lord was here as long as he was. There are the silent years, remember, of our Lord’s life and when our Lord is baptized there comes a voice from heaven that said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That’s God’s sign of approval over all the silent years. And then we have the years of his ministry, three, more or less, in which our Lord was tested in every possible way, and it was demonstrated that he was not only without sin but what have we learned about his impeccability? That he, what? Could not sin. Could not sin. Not only did not sin, but could not sin. Jesus is not only sinless but impeccable. There’s a difference between the two, as you great theologians know by now.
Now we read in the seventh verse, “And ye shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two.” Oh, by the way, we read in verse 6, “And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it.” The lamb must be slain. It isn’t enough to have a lamb to have redemption. There must be the slain lamb. Not only that “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.” It isn’t enough to have a lamb. It isn’t enough to have a slain lamb, but the blood must be applied to the door posts of the heart. Oh, I meant house. You get the meaning, don’t you?
Now notice the two things that are stated in verse 12. “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night.” That is God’s judging all under sin, Egypt, the world under sin. “I will pass through the land of Egypt this night.” Judgment on all. Death will be in every house in Egypt. It will either be the first born of those who do not have the blood on the door posts, or it will be what? The death of what? The lamb. There is death in every room because God’s judgment is upon all, all have sinned. But in the case of those who have faith, the death is the death of the lamb. In the case of those who do not accept the provision of God, it is the death of the first born. God said,
“I will pass through.” That’s judgment. Notice verse 13. “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” “I will pass though the land, but when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Now, this text is almost universally misinterpreted. Almost universally, and I’m not surprised to see this and hear this because the text suggests it, if you hadn’t looked at the Hebrew text. To “pass over” seems to suggest that God is going down the streets of Egypt, and he is going into the homes that do not have the blood on the door posts, and the first born is to be slain. The destroying angel, of course, is his agent. But in the cases of those houses where there is blood on the door posts, he’s going to skip over that house to the next. Does it not sound like that? Now, that isn’t what he’s saying. This verb, “to pass over,” is a verb that is used of a mother bird hovering over her nest. So you see what it really means is that when the destroying angel comes down through the land of Egypt, the destroying angel is going to seek to enter every house. But I shall hover over the houses of those who have the blood on the door posts and will protect them from the destroying angel. I wish I had time to expound this. One of these days I’m going to speak on the Passover and we will give you the illustrations. You might put in your notes Isaiah chapter 31 and verse 5, for there the word is used of a bird that hovers over its nest.
Now, you can see that Israel’s safety that night was dependent upon, what? What was the safety of the first born dependent upon? What? The blood. The blood. The certainty of safety depended upon, what? The word of God. Let’s just suppose that we were able to peek into a house in Egypt that night. And let’s suppose that there was a first born in the home. And it’s an Hebrew home. And father’s name is Abraham, and mother’s name is Rebecca. And so they’re sitting in the living room, and the blood has been put on the door posts, and father is sitting in his comfortable chair, and he’s leaning back reading the “Jerusalem Gazette,” opened to the sport pages wondering how the Jericho Jumbos had come out in their game with the Beersheba Bears. [Laughter]
And Rebecca is very much disturbed. She’s sitting, biting her fingernails, perspiring a little bit, wondering what in the world is going to happen. And she sees him reclining over in his chair, and she says, “Abraham, I don’t understand you. Here we are at a critical period in the history of Israel, and God is going to come down through the streets of Egypt tonight, and destroy the first born, and you are sitting there reading the sports page of the newspaper.” And he looks up, and he says, “We haven’t anything to worry about.” “Well, what do you mean? What about little Abie here? The destroying angel might get him.” He said, “There’s not a chance Rebecca.” “Why?” “Because the blood is on the door posts. Moses told us that God required the blood on the door posts. When he saw the blood, he would hover over us. As a matter of fact, Rebecca, we’ve never been closer to God than we are right now because he’s hovering over this house protecting us.” She said, “I don’t see how you can say that.” “I can say that because I’m confident that God does not tell a lie. My safety depends on the blood on the door posts, and my assurance which enables me to read the newspaper while you bite your fingernails, is an assurance that is based upon the fact that God does not lie.”
And if you have put your trust in Jesus Christ, your safety depends on the blood. Your safety depends on the fact that Calvary took place nineteen hundred plus years ago, and your certainty of it depends upon the fact that God in the Bible has said, “He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life.” Hath it. H-A-T-H. That spells “got it.” So our certainty depends upon the word. Our assurance and our salvation depends on the blood. It’s a great story, isn’t it? See, I’m getting excited. I’ m not supposed to do that in theology.
Now, Capital C – The Smitten Rock. I’ll just say a word about this. We’ll take five more minutes tonight if you don’t mind. Six minutes. The “Smitten Rock” is the story that is recorded in Exodus chapter 17. And in Exodus chapter 17, remember, the children of Israel came to Rephidim and there was no water. The people murmured against Moses and said, “Why is it that you brought us out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” And Moses cried to the Lord. And the Lord said, “Go before the people Moses, and take the rod wherewith you smote the river in Egypt.” And that was the rod that turned the river into blood, remember. “Take that rod and smite the rock and water shall come out of the rock.” And so Moses smote the rock, and water came out of the rock. I think it should be very easy to see for you that the rock is a picture of Jesus Christ.
Paul states in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 4, “And that rock was,” what? What? Christ. That’s what he said. 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verse 4, “And that rock was Christ.” And Moses, he doesn’t mean the rock really was Christ. That was a rock, but it represented Christ. Just as when, in the Lord’s Supper, I take the bread and I say, “This bread is the body of our Lord. This cup is the New Covenant.” It represents it. And so the rock represented Christ, and Moses smote the rock in token of the fact that God smote Jesus Christ at the Cross and out of that rock there came rivers of living water. It’s the plus of our salvation. It’s the other side of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The water pouring out of the smitten rock. Christ suffering for us. One of the many illustrations of the sufferings of Christ.
Now finally, and quite quickly, Roman III – Christ’s Sufferings as seen in Typical Things or Institutions. I’m beginning to be more attracted to that word “institutions.”
Capital A – The Tabernacle. One of these days, I would love to give a series of expositions on the Tabernacle which in seven years of ministry at Believers Chapel, I have never yet done. It’s one of my favorite topics, and I used to do it quite frequently. And I had a large chart, and I lent it to someone unfortunately, and more unfortunately, they never returned it. And most unfortunately, I’ve forgotten to whom I lent it, and so I don’t have my chart any longer. But we all know the Tabernacle is a living picture by its institutions of Jesus Christ. Now, not all of the Tabernacle is a picture of his suffering, but great parts of it are. For example, the brazen altar. The place of sacrifice was typical of our Lord. It was typical of Calvary. The mercy seat upon which the blood was sprinkled. That too was typical of the saving ministry of our Lord in the shedding of his precious blood. The great problem that God had was not how to get men to him but how to get himself to men, so to speak. And by the Cross of the Lord Jesus and the judgment upon sin, his love is now free to go out to men. And that is illustrated in the brazen altar and the mercy seat, the places of sacrifice.
The Priesthood – Capital B. The priesthood illustrates the suffering of our Lord in the ordination or installation of the priests in office. Do you remember what was done when the priests were installed in their office? Well, two things happened. They were anointed with oil and they also had blood applied to them. Now, I’m going to ask you a really technical question. Aaron also was instituted into the high priesthood, installed in that office. And he too was anointed with oil and had the blood applied to him. I want to ask you a question. Aaron is an illustration of Jesus Christ. So which came first, anointing with oil, or application of blood? Which? Tell me. See whether you have any theological sense. Which? Hmmm? Not blood. Oil. Because the Holy Spirit was given without measure to him, and in the power of the possession of the Spirit, he went to the Cross and offered himself. Now, the sons of Aaron, the priests, illustrate us in our service of God. Now, the priests, were they anointed with oil first or did they have the blood applied to them first? Which? Blood first. Right. Why? Because we must be redeemed before we may possess the Holy Spirit. But both have blood and the blood represents the sufferings of Christ.
Finally, the Offering. Capital C – The Offering. Now, to talk about the offering in two minutes. That’s something that should turn a man gray. I guess that’s why I’m getting gray. The offerings. How many are the offerings? Well, just think, for example, in the Book of Leviticus, there are five offerings that begin that book. There is the burnt offering. There is the meal offering. Ah, but you say, “Ah, the meal offering. Meal offering. Where is the suffering there?” That’s the offering that represents our Lord’s character. Well, have you read the second chapter of Leviticus? Don’t answer that. You will notice that the meal is baked in the oven, and there is a reference there to the testing of our Lord’s perfect character in the judgment of the Cross. For there, the fires of God’s judgment ruled through our Lord Jesus when he cried out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” He was the meal offering in the furnace of fire. And as a result of the baking of the Cross, he is bread for all of men. And then there is the peace offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering. In each one of these offerings there is a death, typical of our Lord’s death.
That’s not all. The Day of Atonement and the two goats. Do you remember them? One of them was sent off into the wilderness, but what happened to the other one? It was slain, and the blood was taken into the mercy seat and sprinkled seven times upon the mercy seat, typical of the death of our Lord. The other, typical of the way in which his death has borne away our sins into a land that is uninhabited.
The offering of the leper. Do you remember what was done when a man was cured from leprosy? Well, he was to offer a sacrifice of two birds. One of those birds was slain. The other bird was taken and dipped in the blood and then was allowed to fly off in the sky. Now, I want to see if you’re getting some spiritual discernment. Now, what do these two birds signify? What does the first bird that was slain signify? The death of Christ. Did you say that? That’s what you should have said. The death of Christ. Now, what did the other bird that was allowed to fly off into the sky, what did that signify? Hmmm? No, I don’t think so, even though you’re a good student. [Laughter]
Anyone else? The what? [Inaudible] Resurrection. Redeemed, of course, as a result of the resurrection. But I think it is probably true to say — we cannot prove this — that in the one, we have the death, and the other, we have the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord Jesus. The completion and the divine approval, in a sense, upon all that he did when he suffered for us. Isn’t it wonderful though, the way in which the Bible sets forth all of these things, and when you got to Leviticus, you skipped over Leviticus, didn’t you? In your Bible reading. Well you know, it’s no wonder that our Lord said to the Emmaus disciples as he was traveling with them on the road, “Oh, fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written.” Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to have entered into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning himself. We’ve just picked out a few of his sufferings, but all of the glories are found there, too.
Time’s up. We’re going to have about ten minutes of intermission. Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of the study the word of God. Enable us to turn to it, to understand it, and, Lord, to allow it to have its perfect work in our hearts. Above all, may the things we see concerning Jesus Christ lead to greater devotion to him.
We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.