Q&A: Christ in Genesis

Christ in Genesis

Question

Can you briefly describe the "types of Christ" in Genesis?

Answer

There are volumes of commentaries written that can answer your question. I will just briefly quote the Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible, (page 5 of Introduction to Genesis):
What was begun in Genesis is fulfilled in Christ. The genealogy begun in chapter 5 and advanced in chapter 11 is completed with the birth of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1; Lk 3:23-38). He is the quintessential offspring promised to Abraham (Gen. 17:15-16; Gal 3:16). The elect are blessed in him because alone by his active obedience satisfied the laws' demands and by his willingness to relinquish his rights of equality with God died in their stead. All who are baptized into him are Abraham's descendants (Gal 3:26-29). The bold prophecies and subtle types in Genesis show that God was writing history that was to be completed in Jesus. On the threshold of biblical prophecy, Noah predicted that the Japhethites would find salvation through the Semites (Gen. 9:27), a prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament (Rom. 11), and God himself proclaimed that the woman's offspring would destroy Satan (3:15). That offspring is Christ and his church (Ro 16:20). The gift of the bride to Adam prefigured the gift of the church to Christ (Gen. 2:18-25; Eph 5:22-32); Melchizedek's priesthood is like that of the Son of God (Gen. 14:18-20; Heb 7). The paradise lost by the first Adam is restored by the last Adam. This marvelously unified sacred history certifies that the focus of Genesis is ultimately Christ.

There are several types of Christ in the Old Testament. Here are a few.

1. Adam in the Garden a type of Jesus - the second and last man Adam (Rom. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 15:45, 47).
2. Jacob's ladder vision (Gen. 28:12; John 1:51).
3. Moses a type of Christ (Num. 12:7; Heb. 3:1-3).
4. Manna in the wilderness (Exod. 16; Num. 11; John 6:32-33)
5. The Temple (Exod. 25-30; 1 Kings 6:1-38; John 2:19-22; Eph. 2:20; cf. Matt. 12:6).
6. The Brazen Serpent (Num. 21; John 3:14-15).
7. Jonah (Jon. 1:17; Matt. 12:38-41; Luke 11:29-32).

Additionally, Christ is preached as seen in the animals and feasts (cf. Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5) and as Christ spoke of the Old Testament (Luke 10:16; 1 Pet. 3:19-20).

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).