One of the most famous examples of a typology in Scripture is the rock from which water flowed to quench the Israelites parched in their wilderness wanderings. What was this miraculous rock that gave them life-saving water? The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10. The rock was Christ!
So the physical, tangible rock described in Exodus 17 and Numbers 20 was actually a “type” of Jesus Christ. That is, the physical rock points to the spiritual Rock of Ages, God Himself. Such types are found throughout the Bible, the one thing pointing to a greater thing.
Types are also springing up all around us in this spring of the seasons. Take the beautiful redbud trees now robust in bloom throughout the Roanoke Valley. Their bright scarlet and purple colors point us to the King who comes in the spring dressed in His royal splendor riding on His mount into the Holy City on Palm Sunday, there to die for the sins of the world.
Or consider the lilies of the fields and all the glorious array of flowers along almost every street and in every yard. That which was dead and laid in the ground now springs forth into new life!
See how the flowers are types pointing us to Christ’s resurrection. That’s why too the egg has been seen for centuries as a type pointing to Easter, the chick at springtime bursting forth from the tomb of its shell. Likewise, we have the typology of the butterfly emerging from its cocoon to spread its glorious wings of resurrected life.
In fact, we are blessed with such an abundance of typologies in this gorgeous place we call home that we can miss seeing them. But that would be tragic. How sad for us if we fail to notice the myriad of ways God has built into His creation types pointing us to Himself, displaying His splendor in Jesus Christ.
So as we move outdoors this spring to work in our yards, walk along the Greenway, and drive on the Parkway, let us keep our eyes open to all the signs of God around us. Indeed, it’s a spring of typologies.
Mark Graham is the Senior Pastor at St. John Lutheran Church, visit them on the web at www.stjohnlutheran.org.