The Agora
The Lamentations of Jeremiah

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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 familiar phrases:

"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 tree."
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" (38:13).
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.

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