Foreshadowings and Analogies of the Cross
Jeremiah 38:4-13
Therefore the princes said to the king, We beseech you, let this man be put to death…

The pitiable fate of Jeremiah, so uncalled for and unexpected both in its inflictions and deliverances, the light and shade so strongly contrasted, become charged as we proceed with a certain suggestiveness of something unspeakably greater yet to come. In other words, Jeremiah is perceived to be not only a prophet, but a type of Christ. The charge of treason, the defiance of legal safeguards and requirements by the princes, the wavering and helplessness of the king, the living death in the miry dungeon, and the resurrection through the kind aid of Ebed-Melech, are types of the most unmistakable kind of the characteristic redemptive experiences of the Man of sorrows. And this is only one out of many proofs that human history, especially sacred history, betrays a system of correspondence in its events with those which constituted the earthly experience of the Messiah.

I. THEY CALL ATTENTION TO THE MANIFESTATION OF CHRIST AND HELP TO FIX AND IDENTIFY IT. All along the line of Old Testament revelation there were these finger posts or indicators of the coming struggle between righteousness and sin. The cross is closely associated with the very first pages of revelation, and gives meaning and connection to the loftiest, deepest, and most anomalous utterances and occurrences of the Old Testament. With its many anticipations, echoes, and secondaries, the cross of Christ asserts itself as the central and most commanding principle of human history.

II. THEY REVEAL THE SAME LAW OPERATING THROUGHOUT THE WORLD'S HISTORY AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE. Prehistoric myths and heathen religions, although incapable of attaining to such a Divine conception, yet presuppose and grope after it. And in many an illustrious and obscure human consciousness had the cross made its impress ere the Redeemer of mankind was called upon to suffer.

1. They proved the necessity of Christ's sufferings. As the true character of the issue between good and evil declared itself more and more plainly, it became evident that some more decisive determination of it must take place. Each previous or subsequent experience of the conflict is indecisive and incomplete apart from the Messianic sufferings. Christ must needs suffer, if only to bring to a head and final settlement the long pending question as to whether good or evil is the true law of human life and of the world. It was no accidental, abnormal series of occurrences that constituted our Saviours experience, but the culmination of ages of mutual development in the forces of righteousness and sin, and the true exponent of their respective characters and tendencies.

2. They helped go deepen and educate the spiritual sense of men, and to prepare them for a true appreciation of the mystery of the cross. It is the cross in us that leads us to the cross without. The deep tribulation of the saints of the early Church led them to more profound conceptions of moral action and spiritual requirement. Jeremiah was here a type of Judah, the feet of whose king were" in the mire" (ver. 22). Each occasion like this of Jeremiah's condemnation and imprisonment was a loud warning of the possibilities of evil that were still in the womb of time, and showed the direction of the tendency of the world spirit. It showed, too, how closely related was the life of men with the unseen and the eternal. A moral order behind the chain of events was continually declaring itself. Its very peculiarities and anomalies demonstrated the existence of a higher law. The awful depths and heights yet to be attained by the moral nature of man were suggested, and the certainty gradually induced that the kingdom of light would yet meet and overcome the force of the kingdom of darkness. The faith, obedience, and meekness of man would yet be vindicated by the invincible power and authority of God. - M.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.

WEB: Then the princes said to the king, "Please let this man be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn't seek the welfare of this people, but the hurt."

Counted an Enemy for Speaking the Truth
Top of Page
Top of Page