Jeremiah as a Type of Christ
Each of the Old Testament prophets may be considered as in
some way typifying Christ, for they were all God's spokesmen. They all sought to
turn their countrymen from their ways of sin, and all were received by the
majority with hostility and contempt.
Several things in the life and writings of Jeremiah, however,
are especially indicative of Christ and his mission. In his birth and calling,
Jeremiah certainly resembled Christ and his miraculous origin:
"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou earnest forth
out of the womb I sanctified thee... Then the LORD put forth His hand, and
touched my mouth... and said unto me, Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth"
(Jer 1:5, 9).
Jeremiah because of his teaching fell into such disrepute that
he likened himself to "a lamb that is brought to the slaughter" (11:19). In this
also we see Christ in prophecy (Isa 53:7) and fulfillment (1Pe 3:18; 2:20-24;
John 1:29). Jeremiah by his preaching incurred the special displeasure of his
own kindred (Jer 12:6), again as Christ (Psa 69:8; John 1:11).
Chapters 7 through 9 present several allusions to the
experiences of Christ. Jeremiah, just as his greater successor, was faced with
deep-rooted wickedness, found especially among the religious leaders, the
priests and elders of the community. In his efforts to reform a cynical,
hypocritical priesthood, and to cleanse the Temple of its idolatry, he firmly
pointed forward to Christ. In these three short chapters we find the following
"Is this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your
eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD... They (the priests) have
healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, Peace,
when there is no peace... In the time of their visitation, they shall be cast
down... No grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig
One of the reasons Jeremiah was hated was that he taught the
Jews to humble themselves before the Babylonians, realising that this was God's
way to chasten them for their wrongs (Jer 37:8-12). He was therefore despised by
the haughty "patriots". In the same way Christ's teachings of humility and
submission were scorned by many Jews of his time who felt Rome's yoke must be
cast off. Both Jeremiah and Jesus saw that true peace and true freedom could
come only through obedience under God's hand, a "bearing of the yoke" (Lam 3:27)
and a patient waiting (v 26).
Lastly, Jeremiah's lament for his people (9:1) evokes great
similarities to Christ and his lament for the judgments to come upon his
stubborn generation. The whole of the book of Lamentations is this type of
sustained sorrow. And it is a sobering exhortation and warning to us. God has
always given His people instructors and ample warning to change their ways. If
His people refuse to listen, judgment is certain.
Jeremiah typifies Christ and his reward -- and our future
reward as well:
Jeremiah was at last put into prison (37:15), where he sank
into the mire, just as Christ was killed by those he came to help, and was
placed in the prison house of death. Jeremiah was freed from his prison,
typifying the resurrection and immortalization of Jesus:
"So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon"
The last few chapters of Jeremiah deal with the destruction of
Babylon and her allies in the last days (the last days of the kingdom of Judah).
Christ also will bring judgment upon spiritual Babylon and her allies in the
last days (of the kingdom of men), at which time the lamentations for the Hope
of Israel will be at an end, when mourning will be turned to joy -- for the
saints and the faithful Jews.