Adam is a type of Christ (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45, 47; Rom. 5:14). In Romans 5:14 we are told that Adam was a “type of the coming One,” Christ. Adam was the head of the old collective man (mankind). Whatever he did and whatever happened to him is participated in by all mankind. In this respect he is the type of Christ, who is the Head of the new corporate man (the church, Eph. 2:15-16). Whatever He did and whatever happened to Him is also participated in by all the members of His Body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23).
Adam was the first man (1 Cor. 15:47) and also the first Adam (1 Cor. 15:45). Adam was created by God and had nothing of the life and nature of God. He was merely God’s creation, a work of His hand.
Christ is the second Man and the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:47, 45). He is the last man, and after Him there is no third man, for the second Man is the last Adam. Following Him there is not a third Adam. This second Man was not created by God. Rather, He is a man mingled with God. He is God incarnated to be a man. The first man had nothing of the nature and life of God, for He was merely God’s creation. The second Man is the mingling of God with His creature, full of the nature and life of God. He is a man mingled with God, a God-man. The fullness of the Godhead is embodied in Him (Col. 2:9; John 1:16).
As the last Adam Christ is the end of the old race, the end of mankind in the old creation. As the second Man Christ is the beginning of another race, the start of a new man. There is no second Adam, only the last Adam. In the sight of God there is one Adam beginning from Adam and ending with the man Jesus. Therefore, the first Adam is the beginning of mankind, and the last Adam is the ending of mankind.
The time from Christ’s incarnation until His resurrection was a transitory period involving a transition from the old man or race to the new race. The second Man was born through incarnation, but He was reborn through resurrection. In incarnation Christ was born to be the second Man and also took upon Himself the old man. Then the old man was terminated at the cross, and the second Man was reborn in resurrection. It is for this reason that we may speak of Christ first as being the last Adam and then as the second Man.
In the fulfillment of the types and figures of the Old Testament Christ is the sacrifice affording the coats of skins for Adam and Eve. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). In this verse we see an anticipation of the redemption that was to be accomplished thousands of years later. Adam and Eve were in a situation that needed redemption. Knowing that they were fallen and sinful, they tried to cover themselves with garments made of fig leaves (Gen. 3:7). Then God came in to deal with the situation, promising that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (v. 15). Then God made coats of skins and clothed them. The expression “coats of skins” implies that some kind of sacrifice, probably a lamb, was slain for them. That sacrifice was a type of Christ as our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30) to cover us with Himself.
For God to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve and clothe them means that He justified them. To be justified means to be covered with the righteousness of God, which is Christ Himself. For Adam and Eve to be under the coats of skins signified that they were in Christ, for the coat is a clear type of Christ as God’s righteousness (Phil. 3:9) to cover us. Therefore, figuratively speaking, Adam and Eve were in Christ.
The sacrifice that produced the coats of skins to Adam and Eve was slain as their substitute. The putting on of the coats of skins was based on the shedding of the blood of the sacrifice. The sacrificial lamb was their substitute. Then after God covered them with a coat of lamb’s skins, they became one with the lamb. As sinners they became one with the substitute. This is a matter of union, and union brings about the effectiveness of substitution, for without union substitution stands alone. Substitution does not have anything to do with us until we enter into a union with the substitute. Once we participate in such a union, whatever the substitute has accomplished is ours. Christ has done everything for us on the cross, but without union all that He has accomplished is not related to us. But when we become one with Christ through believing in Him, whatever He accomplished on the cross becomes ours. Therefore, union brings in the effectiveness of substitution.
In Galatians 2:17 and 3:27 we have the fulfillment of the type in Genesis 3:21. Galatians 2:17 speaks of “seeking to be justified in Christ.” Galatians 3:27 says, “As many as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” To believe is to believe into Christ (John 3:16), and to be baptized is to be baptized also into Christ. By both faith and baptism we have been immersed into Christ, having thus put on Christ and become identified with Him.
To put on Christ by being baptized into Christ is to clothe ourselves with Christ, to put on Christ as a garment. On the one hand, in baptism we are immersed into Christ; on the other hand, in baptism we put on Christ. When a person is immersed into Christ, he automatically puts on Christ as his clothing. This means that the baptized one has become one with Christ, having been immersed into Him and having become clothed with Him.
To be baptized into Christ is to enter into an organic union with the Triune God. In order to experience this organic union, we need to believe into Christ and to be baptized into Him. Believing and being baptized are two parts of one step. First we believe into Christ, then we are baptized into Him. By believing in Christ we enter into Him. We believe ourselves into Him and thereby experience an organic union with Him, becoming one spirit with Him. In addition to believing into Christ, which is inward and subjective, we also need to be baptized into Him, an act which is outward and objective. Through the inward action of believing and the outward action of being baptized we make one complete step to enter into the Triune God. The step which begins with believing into Christ is completed by being baptized into Him. In this way there takes place in full an organic union between the believers and the Triune God. In this union we are truly clothed with Christ.
According to 1 Peter 3:20-21, the ark made by Noah and into which he and his family entered is a type of Christ. In Genesis 6:14-16 we see that the ark had three stories, that it was made of gopher wood, and that it was pitched within and without with pitch. The ark’s three stories signify the Triune God. Hence, in the ark we have a type of the Three of the Godhead. This indicates that the Triune God is in Christ, mingled with human nature typified by the wood used in the ark’s construction.
The ark was made of gopher wood, which is a cypress full of resin. This resinous wood can withstand the attack of water. In the Scriptures cypress signifies the crucified Christ, who can withstand the waters of death. He tasted death, and death could not damage Him. The ark made of gopher wood passed through the waters, but no damage was incurred. This signifies the solidness of Christ as the crucified One. Christ is the real gopher wood, the real cypress full of resin and strong to withstand the waters of death.
The ark made by Noah was pitched within and without with pitch (Gen. 6:14). The Hebrew for “pitch” has the same root as the Hebrew word for atonement. The main meaning of this Hebrew word is to cover. The word for the cover of the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat, also comes from this same root. The entire ark was pitched with atonement. This indicates that in Christ, who fulfills the type of the ark, we have the full covering of His redemption.
Genesis 7:13 says, “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.” Noah and his family could not have been saved outside of the ark. They were saved because they entered into the ark. The entering in of Noah and his family into the ark is a type of our entering into Christ. Only by entering into Christ can we be saved.
The ark was for the salvation not only of man but also for the salvation of all living creatures (Gen. 7:13-23). According to Hebrews 2:9, Christ tasted death “on behalf of everything.” This reveals that Christ’s redemption was accomplished not only for mankind but for everything created by God. For this reason, Colossians 1:20 says that God has reconciled all things to Himself through Christ. This is clearly typified by the redemption of Noah’s ark, in which not only eight persons but also the living things created by God were saved. The fact that creatures as well as human beings were in the ark indicates that Christ accomplished an all-inclusive death for every creature. Therefore, the ark was not only for the salvation of man but for the salvation of all living creatures.
Another type of Christ is Melchisedec (Gen. 14:18-20). Genesis 14:18 says, “Melchisedec king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” Salem means “peace,” and Melchisedec means “king of righteousness.” Melchisedec is a type of Christ as God’s High Priest. This is not revealed in Genesis 14, but it is found in Psalm 110, where we are told that God’s anointed One, the Christ, is the Priest according to the order of Melchisedec, an order that is prior to that of Aaron. The Aaronic priesthood dealt with sin, taking care of things on the negative side. The ministry of Melchisedec, on the contrary, is positive. Melchisedec did not appear to Abraham with an offering to take away sin, but with bread and wine to nourish him. Nearly all Christians consider Christ as the High Priest who takes away sin, but few pay attention to Christ as the High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec. As such a High Priest, Christ does not take away sin, but ministers to us the processed God, signified by the bread and wine, as our nourishment.
In Hebrews 6:20—7:3 we have the fulfillment of the type in Genesis 14:18-20. Christ is “forever a High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 6:20). Christ’s purification of sins is typified by the work of Aaron, whereas His sitting down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3) is according to the order of Melchisedec (Psa. 110:1, 4). Christ’s work on the cross typified by the work of Aaron affords us forgiveness of sin. His ministry on the throne in heaven ministers to us the heavenly supply for the overcoming of sin.
Whenever most Christians speak about Christ as our High Priest, they have the concept that He is the High Priest who sacrifices to God for our sins. This, of course, is correct, but it is on the negative side. Christ as the High Priest offering sacrifices to God is typified by Aaron. That was in the past. Today Christ is no longer offering sacrifices for sin; instead, He is ministering the Triune God to us as our supply. In the past Christ offered sacrifices to God for our sins as typified by Aaron. Today He is ministering the Triune God to us as our supply according to the order of Melchisedec. This is proved by the coming of Melchisedec to Abraham. As the priest of the Most High God, Melchisedec did not offer sacrifices to God for Abraham’s sin; he ministered bread and wine to him. As indicated by the symbols of the Lord’s table, in the Bible bread and wine signify the processed God as our supply. Our High Priest, Christ, is not according to the order of Aaron offering sacrifices to God. He is according to the order of Melchisedec ministering the processed God to us.
Melchisedec was a king, and his name means king of righteousness. In Isaiah 32:1 this title refers to the Lord Jesus. Christ is the King of righteousness, today’s Melchisedec. As the King of righteousness Christ has made all things right with God and with one another. He has reconciled us to God and has appeased God for us. Righteousness issues in peace (Isa. 32:17). By His righteousness Christ has brought forth the fruit of peace.
Melchisedec is also the king of Salem, which means the king of peace, signifying that Christ is also the King of peace (Isa. 9:6). As the King of peace through righteousness, Christ has brought in peace between God and us. In peace He fulfills the ministry of His priesthood, ministering God to us for our enjoyment.
According to the type in Genesis 14, after Melchisedec, the king of righteousness and the king of peace, came, there was righteousness and peace. In such an environment and condition of righteousness and peace Melchisedec ministered the bread and wine to the victor. This portrays the ministry of Christ, our kingly High Priest.
Our kingly High Priest is perpetual, eternal, without beginning or ending. Hebrews 7:3 says of Melchisedec that he is “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, abides a priest perpetually.” Because our Melchisedec is eternal, He has no genealogy. This also is a fulfillment of the type in Genesis 14. For all the important persons in Genesis there is a genealogy, but not for Melchisedec. In the divine writing the Holy Spirit sovereignly gave no account of the beginning of his days or of the end of his life so that he might be a proper type of Christ as the eternal One to be our High Priest perpetually. This is like the presentation in the Gospel of John of the Son of God, who, being eternal, has no genealogy (John 1:1). But as the Son of Man Christ has a genealogy (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). It is such a Christ who is the High Priest ministering the processed God to us as our daily supply. He is the perpetual One, the constant One, the eternal One, having no beginning of days nor end of life.
In this message we shall consider further Christ’s person in the fulfillment of the types and figures of the Old Testament.
Isaac, the son of Abraham, is a type of Christ (Gen. 17:21; Matt. 1:1). Isaac was Abraham’s son. A son is one who comes out of the father and who inherits all that the father is and has. This was Isaac’s history. He was out of the father, and he inherited everything of the father. Isaac inherited all things from his father (Gen. 24:36; 25:5). It was by grace, not by effort, that Isaac became the heir of the father’s riches. He was not required to do anything in order to inherit these riches, and he did not do anything for the inheritance. It was absolutely and unconditionally of grace that Isaac inherited all of his father’s riches. In this Isaac is a type of Christ. The Lord Jesus, as the Son of God, came out of the Father (John 16:28) and inherited all that the Father is and has (John 16:15).
In addition to inheriting the riches of his father, Isaac secured a choice bride, Rebekah (Gen. 24:61-67). He gained her without doing anything. As he was meditating in the field, Rebekah was brought to him. Isaac was not a doing person; he was an enjoying person. His father and his servant did everything to secure a bride for him. Isaac did not even go to Rebekah; Rebekah came to him. Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, is a type of the church. As the real Isaac, Christ has inherited all that the Father is and has, and He has obtained the church, the real Rebekah (Eph. 5:31-32).
Christ also fulfills the type of the lamb provided by God. In Genesis 22:8 Abraham prophesied that God would provide a lamb for a burnt offering. Genesis 22:13 and 14 say, “Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.” In the Bible horns signify fighting power. Christ has fighting power, but His “horns” were caught by a “thicket,” which signifies humanity. We are the thicket, and Christ, the Lamb of God, was “caught” in us and could not escape. As the Lamb of God, Christ was willing to have His horns caught by humanity so that He might be offered as our Substitute.
According to Genesis 22, the lamb that replaced Isaac was provided by Jehovah-jireh. This title has two meanings: Jehovah will provide and Jehovah will see. Here we have both provision and vision. Within the Lord’s provision we have vision. What provision and what vision we have at the cross!
The ram provided by God in Genesis 22 typifies Christ as our Substitute. As the ram was killed in place of Isaac, so the Lamb of God suffered crucifixion for us. The ram killed for Isaac typifies Christ, the Lamb of God, who was crucified for us. We should have gone to the cross, but God replaced us with the Lamb as our Substitute (1 Pet. 3:18).
In 1 Peter 1:19-20 we have the fulfillment of the type of the ram provided by God. Verse 19 refers to Christ as “a lamb without blemish and without spot.” We can see from the typology in the Old Testament that the animal sacrifices were to be without blemish and without spot. For example, a sheep that was to be offered as a sin offering had to be without blemish, without mixture; it also had to be without spot, without any wound. The sheep offered as a sin offering was spotless and perfect.
Among all the human beings who have lived on earth only the Lord Jesus is without blemish and without spot. Actually the words “without blemish and without spot” in 1 Peter 1:19 are Old Testament terms used with respect to sacrifices offered to God. This verse indicates that Christ is the real sacrifice to be our sin offering and trespass offering. He was offered for the redemption of the sins of God’s people. As the Lamb without blemish and without spot, He shed His precious blood to redeem us.
First Peter 1:20 goes on to say that Christ, the Lamb provided by God, “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in the last times for your sake.” Christ was foreordained, prepared, by God to be His redeeming Lamb (John 1:29) for His elect according to His foreknowledge before the foundation of the world. This was done according to God’s eternal purpose and plan; it did not happen accidentally. Hence, in the eternal view of God, from the foundation of the world, that is, since the fall of man as a part of the world, Christ was slain (Rev. 13:8).