Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jonathan and David as types of Christ

In this block of verses, Saul wanted to kill David, but Jonathan warns David and promises to advocate for him to his father the king.  The verses of Jonathan’s advocacy are unusual in that his advocacy makes him a type of Christ and the things he says about David make David a type of Christ as well.

1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.
2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:
3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.
4 ¶And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:
5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.
7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past. (1 Sam 19:1-7)

Jonathan’s princely status and advocating to the king for someone makes Jonathan a type of Christ and how He advocates to the Father for us.

What Jonathan says about David is interesting:
A) David has not sinned against the king.
B) David’s works to the king have been very good.
C) David wrought a great salvation for Israel, which the king saw and rejoices for.
D) Saul should not shed innocent blood and slay David.

A, B, C are all characteristics of Christ’s life as well.  He did not sin against God, His works to God were very good, and He wrought a great salvation for Israel, which made God rejoice to see.  Because of this, it would be wrong for Heavenly Father to condemn Christ to spiritual death.

So it seems that this is a case where Jonathan’s advocacy for David, and David’s innocence capture how Jesus could advocate for Himself to the Father on the grounds of His sinlessness and be permitted back into the presence of God, the heavenly king (and then become advocates for us as well.

I also started to see that the friendship between David and Jonathan was meant to typify the dual nature of Jesus Christ.  Jonathan was a prince, so he represented the divine part of Jesus, the part that was Jehovah, the part that was the Only Begotten son of God.  David was a commoner, so he represented the human mortal part of Jesus.

So when 1 Samuel 18:1 tells us the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, we are also being taught about the divine and the mortal human natures united in the person of Jesus Christ.

It is interesting that when Jonathan first pleads for David to Saul, Saul says, “As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain.” (1 Sam 19:6)  This expresses how Christ would not be killed by others. 

Later in 1 Sam. 20:31, Jonathan pleads again for David, asking what he has done to deserve death, and Saul is less compassionate, saying, “For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom.  Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.”  This expresses that Christ had to die, and we get a veiled reference to how as long as Jesus lived as a mortal, He could not reign in the heavens and earth as Jehovah and His supremacy could not be established.  He had to die in order to reign.

I love that I’m finding types of Christ where I never noticed them before!  As I’ve been reading and studying the Old Testament, I’m seeing so many types of Christ!