The Old Testament gives us certain examples, patterns, and types. These types involve formal comparisons Scripture outlines for us. Adam is a type of Christ (Romans 5:14). Moses is also a type of Christ. Christ “was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house” (Hebrews 3:2). Note the simile. Scripture makes a formal comparison.
The apostle Paul makes another connection. “I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples [types] for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.” Again, “Now these things happened to them as an example [typically], and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:1-6 and 11).
Moses is indeed a type of Christ. God told Moses, “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him” (Deuteronomy 18:15). Note the formal comparison by way of simile. Moses was Israel’s earthly deliverer. Jesus Christ is our heavenly deliverer. Moses received God’s law on the mountain. Jesus Christ, the new Moses, delivered the laws of the kingdom in His Sermon on the Mount. Moses then led Israel through the wilderness to prepare them for their earthly rest in the Promised Land. Paul says these things occurred to Israel typically. They were also written to instruct us. What is the instruction we ought to gain?
Once God delivers us by His grace and converts us to faith in Christ, we too embark upon a wilderness trek. Like Israel, God takes us through the dangers and toils of this life and points us to the rest we have in our promised land of heaven. At the beginning of this journey we are baptized into Christ. God then gives us spiritual food and spiritual drink. Leaving a discussion of the spiritual rock following Israel for another lesson, we know Christ is our rock. He is with us.
In this wilderness sojourn planned for each of us between conversion and entrance into heaven, we meet various tests that examine the content of our hearts. We realize these trials of our personal faith work patience and endurance in us. We must allow endurance to have its work in us (James 1:3-4).
We are not above our Lord. We too learn obedience through the things we suffer (Hebrews 5:8). Pre-stressed concrete beams and slabs bear up well under great pressure in bridges and roadways. In the same way, pre-stressed Christians prove their durability under the pressures of providence on the roadway of life.
In many ways, this life is not a bed of roses. Growing old is not for sissies. We enter God’s eternal kingdom through tribulation (Acts 14:22). But God is very good to us in the midst of these trials. He proves His faithfulness. We learn to trust Him more thoroughly. This school, the school of Christ, was typified in the Old Testament to show us what we may expect in our own personal journeys to heaven.
Yes, the school of Christ was typified in the Old Testament to show us what we may expect in our own personal journeys to heaven.