Foreshadowing of Things to Come
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.—Hebrews 1:1–2 NIV
God still speaks to His people today through His prophets. However, it is more common for the Lord to speak through His inspired Word, the Bible.
When we understand how the Bible can merge with certain Hebrew traditions and laws to conjoin or coalesce into revelation can provide us insight into a technique I call the foreshadowing of things to come. This technique is applied to events or series of events established by God in order to portray, in living examples, something of greater spiritual significance. This application towards understanding provides insight into future analogous events that will take place in more vivid or literal manner in the future. Here is just one example of this principle found in the Feast of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. In the ceremony of Yom Kippur God directs the Israelites to sacrifice two innocent, pure and unblemished lambs for the festival’s and nation’s sin offering. This sin offering was performed annually to cover the sins of Israel for the year. Two lambs are needed and ideally considered to be one lamb for the purpose of the sacrifice. One lamb would be sacrificed so its life and blood could ceremonially cover the sins for the nation of Israel.
The second lamb would be kept alive so the sins cleansed in the blood of the first lamb could be imputed or transferred to the second lamb.
Once the second lamb was covered in the sin cleansing blood of the first, the sins of the nation were considered carried by the lamb into a deserted or wilderness area and thus sent away to be forgotten (Leviticus 16:5 and 15–22).
The second lamb becomes the scapegoat carrying the sins of the nation and its people away from God’s holy presence. If one lamb could be sacrificed and still be able to carry away the sins of the nation, then only one lamb would be required; unfortunately, for lamb number one, two lambs were needed.
Jesus, on the other hand, was, is, and ever will be both sacrificial lambs. He is the lamb sacrificed to cleanse the sin of the world, and He is the lamb who carries away the sin of the world from God’s holy presence. The Lamb of God pays the price for sin through His death. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus, as the son of God, was able to play both roles, and yet He lives!
In the Feast of Yom Kippur, the nation of Israel foreshadows or represents the world. Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, is represented by both lambs foreshadowing both the lamb washed clean of sin and the lamb infused with the sins of the world. The earthly lamb could only cover the sins of the nation for one year, whereas the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, eternally cleanses and washes completely clean the sins of the entire world.
Jesus, as scapegoat, bears the sin of the entire world out of God’s holy presence and into His death. Jesus was and is the sacrifice and scapegoat for those who willingly humble themselves and accept His sacrifice for their sins.
The sacrificial lambs of Yom Kippur are the foreshadowing of God’s only Son being sacrificed for the world’s sin. The sacrifice of Yom Kippur and the Lamb of God was and is an effective foreshadowing of things to come.
Now, a forewarning of things to come is something slightly different and we will look at this next time as the worm squirms.
For a more complete understanding on this subject check out the book, “This Side of the Whirlwind, The Coming Apocalypse” Chapter Two!
Did you hear an echo when you read that last line? I think I didn’t either.