Jesus in the OT – Noah’s Ark

Oftentimes when we read the OT we totally miss the point. If you’re reading the OT and not seeing types of Jesus and shadows of the new covenant, then you’re reading it wrong.

What is a type?

A person, place or thing that shares common characteristics with, symbolizes or exemplifies Jesus.

What is a shadow?

Something that alludes to, or indirectly refers to Jesus.

Why look for types and shadows in the OT?

1. Because everything written in the OT testifies about Jesus.

And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,  nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.  You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,  yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 5:37‭-‬40 NIV

2. Because everything God has said and is saying is now being spoken through Jesus.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

Hebrews 1:1‭-‬4 NIV

Simply put… Everything God said was about Jesus and everything He’s saying has been spoken through Jesus.

The whole purpose of the Old Testament is to provide types and shadows of Christ, the antitype or fulfillment.

Series Recap

In the first story we looked at we saw that David was a type of Christ when he killed the enemy with one fatal strike with a stone from his sling. David is likely the most prolific type of Jesus. 

In the second story we looked at the most obvious Christopany (a non-physical appearance of Jesus) in the OT; “one like the son of God” arriving in the fiery furnace.

Noah’s Ark – Genesis 6-10

Noah is the first clear type of Christ in the OT.

5 ways Noah is a type of Christ

1. His Name

Noah means Rest, comfort, consolation and solution.

Genesis 5:28-29 cf. Genesis 3:17-19

Jesus brings the ultimate rest from the curse of sin and death.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NIV

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9‭-‬11 NKJV

2. Offers hope of new life.

God regretted making mankind and used righteous Noah to start over.

Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply.” cf. Genesis 9:1, 7

Jesus offers eternal and everlasting life to all mankind as a result of his vicarious death on the cross for all of your sins.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NKJV

3. Offers hope for creation

Some of creation was spared by the obedient work of Noah.

Genesis 6:19 cf. 7:23

Jesus will restore all creation because of his obedient and finished work on the cross.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:19‭-‬21 NKJV

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:1‭, ‬5 NKJV

4. Offers a cleansing agent for sin.

Noah was a preacher of righteousness. God told Noah that the world was wicked and that his cleansing agent would be a deluge of water.

Genesis 6:17 cf. 2 Peter 2:5

Jesus is the water of life and his blood is the cleansing agent for all sin.

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 NKJV

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. I John 1:7 NKJV

5. Mediator of a covenant for all humankind.

Noah was the mediator of the first covenant God made with humankind.

Genesis 6:18 cf. 9:12-13

Jesus is the mediator of the final covenant God made with himself for the benefit of all mankind.

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. Hebrews 8:6 NKJV

In that He says, “A new covenant ,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:13 NKJV

One Shadow

The days of Noah repeat themselves.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,  but My Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:36‭-‬39‭, ‬44 NKJV

Why was this series important?

It shows us the trajectory of the Bible which is all about Jesus from start to finish. There is certainly more to know in the Bible than Jesus and Gospel, but without the Gospel it is simply not worth knowing. The bible is not a guidebook, road map or basic instructions before leaving earth… it’s the story of Jesus, the greatest story ever told.

I hope you’ve found this helpful and that you never see the OT the same again. May you always read the Bible with Gospel glasses.