One of the Bible's best-known stories is Noah's Ark, but did you know that the ark itself is what we call a type of Christ? Previous posts have more deeply explored the idea of a type - a reality in the Old Testament that prefigures and looks ahead to a corresponding reality in the New Testament. The word comes from the idea of hammering or striking as in minting coins or using an old fashioned typewriter. Here are some of the ways that Noah's Ark prefigures Christ.
Judgment is coming. Something very clear in Scripture is that God judges sin. God is very patient and merciful; He may wait years and generations to send judgment, but He always judges sin. In Noah's day, Genesis 6:5 describes man's sin as follows: "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." We sometimes deceive ourselves into thinking God does not notice or care about our sin. But Genesis 6 teaches clearly that God sees all, including the thoughts of our hearts. He knows, and He responds. In Genesis 6:7, God promises, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth." Judgment is coming. God the Holy Spirit convicts people in our day of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. 2 Peter 3:10 says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." A day of judgment is coming. As judgment was coming in Noah's day, so it is in ours.
God has provided a way of escape. As an act of God's breathtaking grace, He provided a way of escape in Noah's day. Genesis 6:9 tells us that despite the amazing wickedness of Noah's generation, "Noah walked with God." When we looked at Enoch, the man who did not die because the Lord took him, walking with God is a personal relationship with the Lord established by faith. Genesis 6:8 says, "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." God extended grace to Noah and laid out the plan to build the ark. God has provided a way of escape for you and me as well. Jesus Christ declared, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Jesus said in John 10:9, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." Believing in Jesus makes all the difference. Famously, John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." For a generation facing promised judgment, "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." As God provided a way of escape from judgment in Noah's day through His grace, so has He done the very same in our day through sending His Son Jesus to be our Savior.
Come inside the ark! Genesis 7:1, God extends a beautiful invitation to Noah: "Then the LORD said to Noah, "Come into the ark." The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." You are invited to come into the ark of Jesus Christ. If you are in Christ, there is no judgment or condemnation for you. As Noah was in the ark, he did not face the death those outside the ark faced. If you've never trusted Christ before, God is giving you this opportunity to receive Him. Make no mistake. You have sinned. Judgment for your sin is coming. It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment. The only way you can escape the judgment of God for your sin is by entering into the ark of Jesus Christ by faith. Hebrews 2:3 asks, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him." God has opened to you the way to escape His certain judgment for your sin. Will you once and for all accept Christ as your Savior - your divinely appointed escape from judgment to come? If you do so, please get in touch with us using the Digital Connection Card at https://GraceFay.org/Online and let us know you are trusting in Jesus today. We will follow up with you and help you get started in your new walk with Christ.
Luke 1:26-38 describes a scene where the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary and made the well-known announcement that she had been selected by God to be the mother of the Christ. The Christmas season is the most common time that we see depictions of angels everywhere - on Christmas cards, ornaments, decorations, and more. While we never want to go to the extreme of worshiping angels (Colossians 2:18), it can be helpful to assimilate what God has revealed in His Word about them to perfect our understanding of Scripture's message. I have always understood Gabriel's role as being the messenger of God, but studying the occurrences of his name in Scripture this year brought that understanding more into focus. The nature of his messages each time he is named in Scripture has to do with Messiah and His mission. Let's review these together.
There are four times the angel Gabriel is named in Scripture: Daniel 8:16, Daniel 9:21, Luke 1:19, and Luke 1:26.
Daniel 8:16. In the passage that follows this verse, the angel Gabriel makes the prophet Daniel to understand an end time vision. Antichrist will be mighty but not by his own power, and he will come against the Prince of princes (the Lord Jesus Christ). "Yet he will be broken — not by human hands." (CSB) This relates to Messiah's end-time mission in defeating the Antichrist and setting up His millennial kingdom.
Daniel 9:21. Daniel 9 is the famous chapter where we find the 70 weeks prophecy. Interestingly, Daniel was greatly loved by God such that God chose to reveal end times visions to him through His messenger Gabriel another time. As a sidebar, there does appear to be a strong connection between those who draw near to God (Daniel was known for his prayer habits) and God's self-revelation. Gabriel is explaining here the exact time that Messiah will be cut off. Interestingly, the timing of Jesus's death on the cross lines up precisely with this centuries-old prophecy. Once again, Gabriel's message pertains to Messiah and His salvation mission from start to finish.
Luke 1:19. Here, Gabriel appears to Zacharias the priest. Zacharias learns that he and his wife Elizabeth will be blessed to bear a son. Despite being past the age of child-bearing and having a long history of barrenness, this miracle would fulfill prophecy. Isaiah 40:3 says, "Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God." This son whom Elizabeth and Zacharias would bear would be named "John," and John the Baptist would fulfill this prophecy of Isaiah to be the forerunner of Messiah. Again, we see Gabriel's message pertaining to Messiah and His mission. Zacharias asks for a sign since he has his doubts about the truth of Gabriel's message. As a result, we are told in verse 19: "And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” This underscores the role of Gabriel, his relation to God, and some of his delegated power and authority.
Luke 1:26. The last place we find Gabriel named is when he appears to Mary. Mary is surprised and wonders what kind of greeting this is. Gabriel lets Mary know that she has been selected to bear the Messiah in fulfillment of prophecy. Mary does not doubt or ask for a sign, yet she is given a sign. Her question is more of a logistical nature: "How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (verse 34). Gabriel provides Mary with the sign that her relative Elizabeth who had been barren is now with child. Here again, we see Gabriel's message pertaining to the first advent of Christ - his birth and earthly ministry. Gabriel instructs Mary to name the child Jesus.
So Gabriel is only named four times in Scripture, but each time he is more than a mere messenger of God. His messages relate specifically to Messiah's forerunner, Messiah's birth, Messiah's death, Messiah's conquering of Antichrist, and setting up a kingdom of which there will be no end. Gabriel's appearances in Scripture tell the full story of Messiah and His mission.
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