Noah – a Type of Christ

Noah a type of Christ

Types of Christ.

What does it mean to be a Type of Christ? Join me on this journey and allow the  Bible to come alive to you. Throughout scripture, there are many types of Christ. Some of those types are people who walked this earth thousands of years before us. The events in their lives pointed forward to the new covenant and to Jesus Christ.

You don’t need to know these things to be a Christian or to live in the power of God. Yet, understanding the foreshadowing helps us understand what God is really about. Understanding gives us insight into His character and the way God does things- past, present, and future. Understanding increases our faith and our hope.

Noah a Type of Christ

Noah was the son of  Lamech, who descended from Adam through his son Seth. This son was given this name because it means “rest”. Lamech said of Noah, “He will comfort us in our work, which comes from the ground the Lord has cursed.”

Lamech expected Noah to bring deliverance from the Curse. He did – by building the Ark as God prescribed. Lamech did not live to see the work Noah did nor the salvation that came through the Ark during the flood. Yet this gives credence to Noah, a type of Christ.

Genesis describes who Noah was. These same character qualities are evident in Jesus Christ. Noah’s life, especially three characteristics, points forward to the Savior.

Noah wasjust man, perfect in his generations, and he walked with God.  Because of his outstanding character, God chose Noah to build the Ark – a large boat built to provide safety from the curse of death.

Noah, a savior

Noah is known most for his role in building the Ark. The purpose of the ark was salvation for mankind – for anyoneNoah a type of Christ who believed. Salvation came with entering the Ark.

Because of his faith and obedience, Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives were saved from death. The Ark was available for anyone who believed, but few believed. The salvation invitation is still open for anyone who believes. Noah became a savior of the world in his day. God preserved His people through Noah and his family. Scripture tells us, “And every living thing was destroyed that was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the ark. ”

In the Hebrews Hall of Faith chapter, we learn this about Noah: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” That describes our Savior as well.

Like Adam, Noah points forward to the Messiah. As a type of Christ, Noah modeled a life of integrity and a relationship with God. Scripture tells us that Noah walked with God.  We cannot walk with God unless we believe in faith and obey. One only walks with God by spending time with Him.

Noah a type of ChristNoah means rest

Noah also signifies rest, as Christ brings rest. They completed the task, and entered the Ark. God shut the door, and they were safe. After the toil and work of building the Ark, Noah and his family rested inside the Ark while the rain fell for forty days and forty nights. Therein was their rest.

Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah, “In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. . . the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people . . . .”

Jesus invites everyone with these words:

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am[a]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Noah a type of ChristThe Ark and the Church

We also find Noah to be a type of Christ in his workmanship. Noah built an Ark, and Christ builds His church. Inside the Ark (the church), we find fellowship and growth. How lonely it would have been to be the only person in the Ark! God has not designed us to be lone-ranger Christians. We need each other. Noah’s family worked together in building the Ark and in caring for the animals inside that floating zoo. They shared camaraderie and companionship.  The family shared accountability. Indeed, they shared a common faith and practice. There is safety inside the Ark of God. We need to keep it so.

Where we find rest

When we “enter” the Ark, we receive salvation. Therein we also find purpose and rest. When we enter the Ark, we are redeemed and saved from the curse of sin. It does not mean there are no struggles. Even when the family entered the Ark and the door was shut, there was work to do. Animals needed to be fed and watered; waste needed to be disposed of and health needed to be maintained. Yet they had rest because they were safe. They had each other and shared the load of time and muscles to care for the animals. Living in close quarters, there was conflict. We know this because they were human as are we.

Noah exhibited many characteristics of Christ. His life of obedience should encourage us to be faithful. Today we benefit from his faith – evidenced by the Ark he built. Like Christ, Noah provided rest, safety, protection, salvation and redemption to those who believed in God.

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That Scarlet Thread in the Book

Every story has its thread.

The one in the Bible is scarlet. There’s a reason!

One of my favorite things about stories in literature is the predictably unpredictable – those things that happen which one never sees coming. As a student, I enjoyed predicting what was going to happen by those subtle hints early on in assigned literature. I admit I was rather good at figuring out future timeline events in stories by the foreshadowing given in the events of the day.

It’s the same way when we study the Bible.

God gives us the foreshadowing of what is going to happen. Sometimes it’s easy to recognize and sometimes one has to read between the lines. At times He clearly said, “This is what Jesus will be like.” and other times He shows us, but never mentions it specifically. That was when He is foreshadowing. If we pay attention, we will get the implication.

I’m fascinated with the way God used foreshadowing to get His people ready for what was going to happen. All through the ages of history and chronicled in the Old Testament is a scarlet thread. This thread runs continually through the events, stories, and happenings in the lives of those people who lived thousands of years before us and before the time Jesus came to this earth. That scarlet thread continues in the New Testament, all the way to Revelation.

It’s a mystery story with detailed history and poetry all written into one Book.

There is birth and dying, betrayal and murder, love and arranged marriages. There is deceit and there are familial tendencies coursing through generation after generation. There are good people and there are bad people. (Actually, there is bad in good people and even good in bad people.)

There’s a man who commits adultery and arranges a murder in order to cover up his sin – the same man who is declared by God (later) to be a man after God’s own heart. Now that’s a wrinkle that runs right along that scarlet thread!

There are women from pagan cultures used by God to fulfill His plan. They leave their pagan gods and sin behind and join those people through whom the Jewish line is continued. They are a part of that scarlet thread.

There are children who become messengers for God. One of them is the little maid whose message sends a captain to find help. That’s the time seven dips in a dirty river cure a case of leprosy. There’s the time the ground opens up and swallows entire families because of disobedience of husbands. Priests die while sacrificing because of their disobedience. A a blind man uses his strength to bring down pillars, killing not only himself but hundreds of pagan people. I guess you could call that a “suicide mission”.

A real live donkey speaks actual words. Other animal pair  supernaturally move out of the forest to board what will become the first floating zoo. A visit from hornets persuades the stubborn Canaanites it’s time to move. The mouths of lions are shut by angels for an entire night. Their den mate, a man who won’t stop praying three times a day, lives to see the morning.

Millions of men, women, and children spend the night walking on dry land as the sea is rolled back to allow passage. A prophet is thrown into a well and then given ropes and rags so he can be pulled out of that well. A favored son is sold into slavery and accused falsely. After years of rejection, he is promoted to second-in-command, next to the Pharaoh in the land. A priest burning incense moves between the people as a plague courses through them, and the plague stops – after 14,000 people are dead. The waters of a river move aside as soon as the feet of the priests (carrying the Ark of the Covenant) touch its banks.

People bitten by serpents are healed when they look at a bronze serpent on a poleand battles are fought and won when weary arms are held up by assistants and when time literally stands still. That’s the time the sun stays in the middle of the sky for a full day.

There are sins: fornication, incest, bestiality, drunkenness, and nakedness. We read about idolatry and gossip, suicide and murder. There is owning of slaves and women given to their masters to bear children. There are false accusations and people are imprisoned.  The king goes into a cave to relieve himself and the one he is pursuing silently cuts off the bottom of his royal robe. Though this warrior has every opportunity to slay his adversary, he won’t touch the king (God’s Anointed).

There is gloom, despair, and wretchedness. There is also divine intervention and a complete plan for restoration that unfolds as time continues. Through prophets and priests, rulers and judges, God’s timeline extends.

Miraculously, a common scarlet thread is woven throughout each book of the Bible.

That thread takes us from Creation to the Messiah, from His birth to His death and His Resurrection – and to the promise of Eternity.

I rediscover this scarlet thread every year when I start another journey through the Bible. Sometimes I read in chronological order; sometimes the order in which I read is historical. Usually, I read by myself; one year Dave and I read it through together, sentence by sentence (until October, when we ended up finishing it on our own because of time constraints). Sometimes I begin Genesis in January and finish Revelation in December. This year, I’m following a 222 day plan. Each time, I learn new things and find myself noticing the foreshadowing of what is to come as characters move across the stage, following that scarlet thread. As the curtain is drawn after each scene, I’m sitting on the edge of my chair, wanting to know more – wanting to read the next chapter, to see the next act. The more I read it, the more I like this Book because it becomes easier to follow that scarlet thread.

It’s all there. Holding each chapter together is that thread of scarlet, intertwining grace with judgment and mercy with justice.

Like the stories we dissected as students, these stories are true, full of mystery, and a shadow of what was and is to come. One scene, one Act at a time, and I’m still waiting for the grand finale!

When we don’t understand God’s timeline, we can still trace His hand. Down through the ages, His hand has moved across this world, around nations, and inside individuals.

That thread of scarlet is still there. It continues while time lasts. One day, the last prophecy will be fulfilled. One day, the last foreshadowing will be finalized. The final chapter will be realized. Signed, sealed, and delivered!

God’s plan of salvation will be complete when He welcomes the ransomed Home.

And, just like the Bible foreshadows, we will forever be whole, restored, and free!

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