Types of Christ in the Old Testament


Adam is the father of all men according to the flesh; Jesus Christ is the spiritual Father of the faithful, for through Him alone do they receive life. Through Adam, sin and death came to all men; through Jesus Christ, we have received grace and eternal life. Sin and misery came into the world by Adam’s disobedience; but our redemption has been wrought by Jesus Christ, who became obedient even unto the death of the Cross.


Job, suffering the most profound grief of soul, seeing nothing but a miserable death before him and robbed of all human consolation, fell down on the ground, praying and humbly resigning himself to God’s will.  In this he is a type of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane


Noah was the only just man in a sinful world; Jesus Christ is alone, and of and by Himself, most just, most holy. Noah built the ark for the saving of the human race; Jesus Christ founded the Church in order that in her men might find salvation. Noah preached penance and foretold the Deluge; our Lord preached penance and foretold the Last Judgment.

The Paschal Lamb, a Type of Jesus Christ:

The paschal lamb was a sacrifice, for it is expressly said (Ex. 12,27) that it was “the victim of the passage of the Lord.”  The paschal lamb was to be without blemish: Jesus Christ is the Most Pure, the Most Holy, “a lamb unspotted and undefiled” (1 Petr. 1,19).  The paschal lamb was killed, and its blood spilt; Jesus Christ was slain for us on the altar of the Cross, and shed all His Blood for us.  Of the paschal lamb “no bone was to be broken”; contrary to the usual custom with those crucified, not one of our Lord’s bones was broken. 


Melchisedech’s name signifies the king of justice, and he was king of Salem, which name means peace:  Jesus Christ is in a far higher sense King of justice, and the Prince of peace who bought for us everlasting peace.  Melchisedech was not only a king, but also a priest; Jesus Christ is our sovereign king and priest.  Melchisedech offered bread and wine to God as an unbloody sacrifice; Jesus  Christ offered Himself to His Eternal Father at the Last Supper, under the form of bread and wine, and continues to do so in the Holy Mass.


He was this, in as much as he led the Israelites into the Land of Promise, and triumphantly conquered it.  Jesus Christ, by His Death and Resurrection, has overcome sin, Satan and death, and has opened to us the kingdom of heaven.  He leads us there by His doctrine, His example and His grace, and especially by holy Baptism. 


The birth of Isaac was promised repeatedly; so was the coming of Jesus Christ.  Isaac was the only and dearly beloved son of his father; Jesus Christ is the only-begotten and beloved Son of God, in whom His Father is well pleased.  Isaac was obedient to his father, and was willing, out of obedience, to give up his life, letting himself be bound, and waiting patiently for his death-stroke; Jesus Christ was obedient to His Heavenly Father, unto death, even unto the death of the Cross.  “As a sheep He was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb without a voice before his shearer, so opened He not His mouth.”  Isaac himself carried up the mountain the wood on which he was to be slaughtered; Jesus Christ carried up to Calvary the Cross on which He was to die.


Gedeon, as savior of his people, is a type of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the whole world.  Like Gedeon, our Lord during His early years led a humble, hidden life.  As Gedeon overcame his numerous enemies with a few soldiers, so did our Lord overcome the pagan world by His few apostles and disciples, whose only weapons were the trumpet (preaching) of the Gospel and the torches (the light) of good works. 


Joseph, the beloved, obedient, and innocent son of his father, was envied by his brethren, ill-treated by them, sold, and given over to the Gentiles; so also Jesus.  Joseph was falsely accused and unjustly condemned; Jesus suffered patiently and resignedly between two malefactors.  Joseph was set free from prison, and made ruler over the whole land; Jesus was raised from the prison of the tomb, and sitteth at the right hand of His Father.  Joseph was called the savior of the world, because he saved the Egyptians from famine; Jesus is indeed the Savior of the world, because He has redeemed the whole world from sin and hell.  As Joseph forgave and excused his brethren, so did our Lord, hanging on the Cross, forgive His enemies, and pray for them: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” 


David not only foretold the sufferings and glory of the Redeemer, but was himself a type of Him.  He was born at Bethlehem; he led a hidden life during his youth, and conquered Goliath with a contemptible weapon (Jesus overcame Satan by means of the despised Cross).  He was persecuted by Saul, to whom he had done nothing but good; he was patient and full of love towards his enemies.  He was both prophet and king; he ascended the Mount of Olives, crossing the brook Cedron, bowed down with grief; and returned triumphantly to Jerusalem (the type of the Ascension), having gained the victory over his enemies (“sitteth at the right hand of God”).

The Twelve Sons of Jacob, a Type of the Twelve Apostles:

As from Jacob’s twelve sons sprang the whole chosen people of the Old Testament, even so, in a spiritual way, have the chosen people of the New Testament, the faithful, sprung from the twelve Apostles, who converted both Jews and Gentiles, receiving them into the Church of Christ. 


As Jonas was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, so was the Son of God in the tomb before His glorious Resurrection.