TYPES OF CHRIST IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2001 James Melough
- ISRAEL'S SUBTITUTE
Dt 1:37 we read concerning Moses, “... the Lord was angry with me for your
sakes, saying, Thou shalt not go in thither (i.e., into Canaan)”; and in
3:23-26 we read, “And I besought the Lord ... let me go over, and see the
good land that is beyond Jordan.... But
the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me....”
And again in 4:21-22, “Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for
your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan ... but I must die in
this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that
good land.” Dt.32:48-52,
“And the Lord spake unto Moses.... Get thee up into this mountain ...
and die in the mount whither thou goest up... because ye trespassed against me
among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh.... thou shalt
not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.”
chapter 34 records Moses’ death, “And Moses went up from the plains of
Moab unto the mountain ... and the Lord showed him all the land ... and the
Lord said, I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go
over thither. So Moses the
servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of
the Lord. And He buried him in a
valley in the land of Moab.... And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old
when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.... And there
arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord knew face to
isn’t difficult to trace in the experience of Moses the foreshadowing of the
experience of Christ.
being declared in 1:37 that the Lord’s anger was directed against him “for
your sakes” reminds us that it was for the same reason the Lord Jesus Christ
died, “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.... the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all,” Isa
53:5-6. “... Jesus our Lord ... Who was delivered for our offenses,
and was raised again for our justification,” Ro 4:24-25.
pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land.... But the Lord was wroth
with me for your sakes, and would not hear me,” Dt 3:25-26.
Surely this foreshadows that night in Gethsemane when the Lord prayed,
“O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not
as I will, but as Thou wilt,” Mt 26:39.
That prayer too was refused, because without the Lord’s death as the
sinner’s Substitute, there could be no remission of sin, and God, “... is
longsuffering ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come
to repentance,” 2 Pe 3:9.
the Lord was angry with me for your sakes.... I must die in this land,” Dt
4:21-22. So was it with Christ:
He too must die “in this land,” i.e., in this world to which He had come
for the sole purpose of dying as man’s Substitute.
As Moses’ death was foretold, so was Christ’s.
thee up into this mountain ... in the land of Moab ... and die in the mount
... because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel,” Dt
meaning, “From father: what father?” was the incestuously begotten son of
Lot. It is significant that the
land where Christ died was also a land peopled by those whose parentage He
Himself denounced. In response to
the derisive implication concerning His parentage, and their proud claim that
they had God as their Father, He declared “Ye are of your father the
devil,” Jn 8:41-44. As the land
where Moses died was literally a land synonymous with infamous parentage, so
was the land where Christ died synonymous with an even more infamous spiritual
ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel....”
The trespass of Moses was literal, albeit there were mitigating
circumstances; but the Lord could be charged with no sin.
He had voluntarily come down “among the children of Israel,” but
none of their sin defiled Him. In
the midst of sin He remained, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from
sinners,” Heb 7:26. When He
died it was for our sins.
Moses ... died in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord,” Dt
34:5. Christ’s death was also,
“according to the word of the Lord.”
no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day,” verse 6. It is as though it didn’t exist.
In this God would teach us truth concerning the sepulchre of Christ.
It’s location too is unknown. It
is as though it didn’t exist, and for a very good reason: it isn’t
needed. He was delivered for our
offenses, but He has been raised again for our justification.
His place today is not the tomb, but the throne of heaven where He sits
beside the Father, “crowned with glory and honor,” Heb 2:9.
when he (Moses) died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated,”
verse 7. His death was not from
“natural causes.” In spite of
his hundred and twenty years he died in the full vigor of manhood. And so was it with Christ.
Joshua ... was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon
him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord
commanded Moses,” verse 9.
has been noted in other studies, Moses represents Christ rejected and dying;
but Joshua represents Him in resurrection, as the Captain of our salvation,
leading us into the enjoyment of the spiritual riches depicted in the
abundance of Canaan. A
disobedient Israel should have died, but Moses died for their sakes.
We should have died, but Christ died for us.
And as Moses’ place was taken by Joshua, so does a resurrected Christ
live for us today. “Though we
have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more,”
2 Cor 5:16. Today it is our
privilege to “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ,” 2 Pe 3:18 - a resurrected Savior, seated at God’s right
hand, crowned with glory and honor.