WHAT IS A BIBLICAL TYPE?
"What type of car do you drive?" "What type of music do you like to listen to?" "Do you know how to type?" These questions show the versatility of the word "type." The Merriam Webster Dictionary lists four broad categories for the noun "type." The fourth is "a person or thing (as in the Old Testament) believed to foreshadow another (as in the New Testament)." One usage of the term in the New Testament is Romans 5:14, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." The etymology of the word comes from the idea of striking a coin (similar to the old striking motion of typewriters) and the imprinting of a king's seal. One can see the conceptual connection between minting coins and creating example after example, type after type.
When exploring biblical types, you are looking for two things. First, you are looking for a resemblance. This establishes the basis for a conceptual connection between the two realities. Then, you look for design. To some interpreters, this is less important than to others. But the idea here is that God intended for us as readers of His Word to connect these two realities, that God superintended and directed the behaviors of the Old Testament figure in such a way that it would pre-figure or foreshadow the corresponding New Testament reality.
We are currently in a series called The Old Testament: The Drumroll to Christ. In our most recent message, we explored how Abel is a type of Christ. Abel was a shepherd, and our Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. His sheep recognize His voice and follow Him. As Abel's brother hated him, so the Lord's half-brothers despised Him before His death. Although Abel was a sinner, he was slain without having committed a capital crime. In a certain sense, Abel did not deserve to die. Our Lord Jesus was murdered completely without cause or warrant. Pilate himself said, "I find no fault in Him." Abel offered a lamb sacrifice, and the sacrifice he offered was accepted. Our Lord Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is our sinless substitute; He died in our place. Whereas the penalty of death hovered over us as we stood guilty before God, Christ died in our place. He absorbed the wrath of God for our sin. His sacrifice was accepted! He alone can save to the utmost all who come to God by Him. To identify a biblical type does not mean that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the two entities in every detail. Such a requirement would mean there are no types of Christ, because only Jesus is the divine Son of God, the God-Man, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The historical account of Abel's murder in Genesis 4 foreshadows so many elements of our Lord Jesus's life and substitutionary atonement provided through His death on the cross.
My question for you reading this blog is this: Has there ever been a time when you believed in Jesus? Has there ever been a time when you recognized that you are a sinner and believed in what Jesus did on the cross as payment for your sin? Do you believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead, and that He alone can give you the free gift of eternal life? If not, why don't you believe today? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Receive the free gift today by faith. Once you do that, get in touch with Grace Baptist Church through the digital connection card at https://GraceFay.org/Online so that we can help you get started on your journey with the Lord.
To God be the Glory for the types of Scripture that point us to Christ.
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