Sunday, February 22, 2015

All Things Point to Christ

This is a portion of a talk that Todd B. Parker gave at a devotional at Brigham Young University. He gives examples from the scriptures and other things that are types of Jesus Christ. His testimony is better than I can tell it, so I am going to quote from his talk.

“I believe you can find types of Christ in events, travels, topography, seasons, people, names, and so forth. For example, in the Bible Dictionary under “Pauline Epistles” for the book of Hebrews, we read that Israel’s journey typifies our journey toward eternal life (see 6b). Israel left Canaan, went to Egypt, and fell into bondage. They were led from bondage by Moses, were purified in the desert, and then returned to their home in Canaan. Likewise, we leave God’s presence, enter a fallen telestial world, are delivered from spiritual bondage by Jesus, pass through a purifying terrestrial millennium, and return to God’s celestial presence.

“Let’s look at Moses as a symbol or type of Christ and compare the two deliverers. Moses was Israel’s physical deliverer. Jesus is our spiritual deliverer.

“Moses’s first plague to get Israel out of Egypt was turning water into blood. Jesus’s first miracle in His ministry was turning water into wine.

“Moses’s last plague was the death of the firstborn. Jesus’s last miracle was the resurrection of the Firstborn.

“How did Moses free Israel from Egyptian bondage? He had the Israelites take a lamb—male, unblemished, firstborn, with no broken bones—and sacrifice this lamb by shedding its blood. The Israelites then put the blood of the lamb on the lintel and the two side posts of each of their doors. When they did that, the destroyer passed over them. The blood of the lamb saved them from physical death. In our lives we have to accept the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ—and symbolically put the blood of His Atonement on the doorframes of our lives. The blood of the Lamb of God will save us from spiritual death.

“Those lambs used for sacrifice had to be firstborn. I don’t know if you have considered Jesus’s birth in the light of His being the Lamb of God. To whom did the angels go to announce the birth of the Lamb of God? Specific shepherds were assigned to tend the flocks of sheep to be used in temple sacrifice. Only certified firstborn lambs could be used. The shepherds were the eyewitnesses of which lambs were firstborn. So when the Lamb of God was born, where did the angels go? To the shepherds. Why? Because that was their job—to witness the birth of firstborn lambs.

“Moses tells us in Leviticus 1:11 that the lambs to be used for sacrifice were to be slain on the north side of the altar. Where do you suppose Jesus, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed? The Crucifixion took place just north of the temple altar in Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha. The Lamb of God was sacrificed north of the temple altar. All things testify of Christ.

“After Israel left Egyptian bondage, they went to the borders of the Red Sea. In the movie The Ten Commandments, Yul Brynner played the part of Pharaoh and said, “The god of Moses is a poor general to leave him no retreat.”

“Not really. Moses went there on purpose. Why? Because they had to go through the Red Sea. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:1–2 that Israel passing through the Red Sea was a symbol of a baptism by water and a baptism by fire. Israel was saved by water. That is why there had to be a wall of water on each side. Israel was “baptized by immersion” in the Red Sea. The fire held the Egyptians back. Hence Israel was also saved by fire. It is the same with each of us. We need to be saved through a baptism of water and a baptism of fire.

“When Israel got to the borders of the Red Sea, the pillar of fire came around behind them. There was first a separation of light and darkness. It was light to the Israelites going through the Red Sea, but it was darkness to the Egyptians. What did God do on the first day of creation? He separated the light from the darkness. What did God then do on the second day of creation? He separated the waters from the waters. What did Moses do? He separated the waters from the waters, and Israel went through on dry ground.

“They went into the wilderness. The wilderness is a symbol of purification. They were there forty years. When we get into the Millennium, we will have a thousand years of purification.

“What did they eat while they were in the wilderness? They ate manna. What is manna? It is bread from heaven. Who is Jesus? He is the Bread of Life. Where did He come from? Heaven. And where was He born? He was born in Bethlehem. And what does the name Bethlehem mean? Bethlehem means “House of Bread.” By chance? I don’t think so.

“What did they drink? They drank water. Who is the Living Water? It is Jesus (see John 4:14). Where did they get the water? From a rock (see Exodus 17:6). Who is the rock? The Rock is Christ (see Helaman 5:12). By chance? I don’t think so.

“When Israel went into the promised land, they went through the Jordan River. Why go through a river? You have to be “born again” (see John 3:1–5). Who led them through the river? It was Joshua. Joshua is the Hebrew name for the Greek word Jesus. It was “Jesus” who caused them to be born again and led them through the Jordan River back home to the land of their fathers. They crossed the river at Bethabara—the same place where Jesus would later be baptized. That section of the Jordan River is the lowest body of freshwater on earth. Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that Jesus’s baptism at Bethabara symbolized His descending below all things (see “Self-Mastery,” Ensign, November 1985, 32). All things testify of Christ.

“Consider names—simple names, like Joseph Smith. Joseph in Hebrew is Yoseph. Yoseph means “may God add sons.” A “smith” is someone who forges or fashions or beats something out of raw material. So if you are God and you want to establish a kingdom out of raw material and then add sons to it, how do you describe that? “Joseph Smith.”

“What does Hyrum mean? Hyrum means “my brother is exalted.” By chance? I don’t think so.

“Consider the seasons. When was Joseph born? Joseph was born at the winter solstice, when light is coming into the world. What was the sign to the Nephites when Jesus was born? It was three days of light. When was Joseph killed? Joseph was killed at the summer solstice, when light is going out of the world. What was the sign to the Nephites at Jesus’s death? It was three days of darkness. All things testify of Christ.

“Moses 6:63 states, “All things . . . bear record of [Christ], both things . . . in the heavens above, . . . on the earth, . . . in the earth, and . . . under the earth.”

“The sun itself is a type of Christ. It comes from the east. Christ will also come from the east. The sun gives light and life to all things. Its heat can also consume all things. (Those who live in Arizona understand that.) It does both. The Light of Christ gives “life to all things” (D&C 88:13). Christ’s glory will also consume the wicked at His Second Coming (see D&C 5:19). People whose lives are filled with darkness will be destroyed by the light. People whose lives are full of light will be saved by that light—“as by fire,” to use Nephi’s words (1 Nephi 22:17). Doctrine and Covenants 88:25 states that “the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom.” Well, what does the earth do? The earth revolves around the sun (s-u-n). What should we do if we are to abide by the law of a celestial kingdom? Our lives should also revolve around the Son (s-o-n).

“The universe was designed to testify of Christ. Consider hibernation. Every creature—every squirrel, insect, snake, or bear—that hibernates and lies dormant during the winter appears to be dead. Each one that comes alive again in the spring testifies of Christ and His Resurrection. Every tree, every plant, every leaf that becomes green each spring—all testify of Christ. Do you think it was by chance that all of these things come to life after appearing to be dead at the same time of year when Jesus came alive again? I don’t think so. All things testify of Christ.” (“True Doctrine, Understood, Changes, Attitudes and…”), Todd B. Parker, BYU Devotional, January 20, 2015)

I add my testimony to Brother Parker’s. I know Jesus is The Christ and there are many witnesses in the scriptures that testify of Christ, every prophet testifies of him. I testify of him. He lives and because of his atonement and resurrection, we will live again and can enjoy exaltation with our families.

The comments and questions are welcome.

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