We’re continuing to think through the continuity and discontinuity between the OT and the NT. One helpful way to do this is through Typology. The OT provides types/ patterns or foreshadowing of the greater reality to come in Christ.
Let’s sketch that out a little (nb there’s nothing original in this post but if I were to cite everyone who had picked up on these images the footnotes would be longer than the article).
– They are marked out as part of God’s covenant people, belonging to him symbolised by circumcision.
– They are brought from slavery/death in Egypt under the false King and false God Pharoah to freedom and life in God’s land in Canaan. The journey is through water (Red Sea and Jordan) – a type of baptism.
– The journey from death to life is marked out by meals, the passover and manna in the wilderness.
– They are separate to God and this is symbolised in rules about purity and holiness.
– They are to love God with all their heart and their neighbour as themselves, the details of this are fleshed out in the 10 Commandments
– They cannot keep God’s Law due to their hard hearts. They need an atoning sacrifice offered once per year and a High Priest to offer it.
– The place where atonement is made is the Tabernacle and later Temple whee God’s manifest presence is seen to dwell.
For God’s people in Christ
– We are chosen by God in Christ – our hearts are circumcised as we are marked out as belonging to him.
– We have moved from slavery and death in sin to freedom and life in Christ. We have died with him and are raised with him. This is symbolised in baptism.
– We feed on Christ himself. He is the bread of life. He is our Passover meal. Outwardly this is represented at Communion.
– We are separate to him and called to be holy as he is holy. We are washed clean and called saints.
– We are to love God with our whole heart and our neighbour as ourselves. We are declared righteous with regards to this because Christ is united to us and imputed his righteousness to us. He is the one who has loved his father wholeheartedly. He is the one who loved his neighbour, even forgiving his enemies. There is also growth as we are filled with the Spirit and he teaches us to live like Christ. There is is going sanctification. One day we will be present with him and be like him ( glorification).
– This means that Christ is both our perfect High Priest and our atoning sacrifice.
– We do not need to go to a physical, earthly Temple. God is present with his people through the jndwelling of his Holy Spirit.