Noah: A Type of Christ
It has been thought that under the Old Testament dispensation, which had a shadow of good things to come, there were persons, as well as things, who typified our glorious Redeemer in his person, office, and grace. Among these, I have thought, Noah might be ranked and considered as a type of him.
Firstly, in his name, rest, or comfort: Christ is the rest of his people and their comfort. To him the convinced Gentiles seek, and to them his rest is glorious. He gives rest to the weary and heavy laden sinner. He takes away slavish fear from the mind, and says to his people fear not: “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) By the application of his blood, which cleanseth from all sin, he disburdens the conscience of guilt, and purgeth it from dead works, to serve the living God; and makes it at once, both pure and peaceable: so that it feels no condemnation. He causeth his people to rest in his free, eternal, immutable love; in his covenant, which stands as firm as his throne; in his everlasting righteousness which cannot be abolished; in his great atonement; in his full redemption; in his finished work; in his fulness of grace and truth; in his absolute promises; and in his wisdom, faithfulness, power, and all-sufficiency. This rest is enjoyed in believing: “we who have believed do enter into rest.” (Hebrews 4:3)
Secondly, Noah had a covenant made with him, and in this he may be viewed as a type of our Lord, with whom the covenant of grace was made by Jehovah the Father; whose language on this subject is too plain to be mistaken, and too positive to be denied: “I have made a covenant with my chosen; I have sworn unto David my servant; thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations” (Psalm 89:3-4). This is not to be understood of David, the son of Jesse; but of him who is the root and offspring of David, whose goings forth were of old, from everlasting; and who in his official character, was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. To him, as the head of the church, the promises were made; and with him the covenant of promise was established before the giving of the law; before the promise was made to Abraham; yea, before the almighty Creator stretched out the north over the empty place, and hung the earth upon nothing. This is fully demonstrated by apostolic language:
“According to the hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2)
“According to his purpose and grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2nd Timothy 1:9)
“Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 1:3)
“To the intent, that unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:10-11)
These declarations all imply a covenant of an eternal date, made with Christ; because whatever the church has in him, whatever she receives from him, and whatever he has done and does for her, is in consequence of, his being given by the Father for a covenant of the people (Isaiah 42:6-7; Isaiah 49:8-9).
Thirdly, that Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and in that character a type of our great prophet and teacher. As a preacher of righteousness Christ was the subject of prophecy. David represents him as addressing the divine Father thus: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest” (Psalm 40:9). He preached the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The gospel which he taught is the ministration of his righteousness: for therein his own righteousness is revealed, from faith to faith; and it was his own that he preached; of which he taught, the perfection. When he came into the world he said unto God, the Father, “Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me; I delight to do thy will, O my God, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:7-8). One part of the Father’s will was, that he should obey that law, which was in his heart: that he should obey it both in heart and life with the greatest exactness. To fulfill the law in every point, was a part of the blessed Saviour’s work; a glorious and important part of what the Father, in eternity, gave him to do ; and, in the fulness of time, commissioned him to perform. Upon this work his heart was inviolably fixed, before time began. As then his delights were with the sons of men, so his determination was to fulfill all righteousness for them, in those habitable parts of the earth in which he rejoiced. Oh wonderful design of love!
Fourthly, Noah was a saviour: he “built an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7). And Christ is the saviour of his house, the church. His name is called Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins; from all their sins, he saves them freely, completely, eternally: sovereign and everlasting love in the breast of God the Father appointed him to be the Saviour; and the same love in his own breast induced him to undertake the high important office. On him the Father charged our guilt, original and actual; and he bore it in his body on the tree; where he suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring them unto God; and offered himself a sacrifice of a sweet savour unto divine law and justice, to expiate completely all our crimes. And by once offering himself he has put away sin, finished transgression, and perfected for ever all them that are sanctified. We have in his blood redemption, pardon, peace, and health. His obedience justifies from all things. In him we are perfect law-fulfillers. His blood cleanseth us from all sin, and in him we stand immutably complete in righteousness, innocence, holiness, and beauty. Here the Father views us with infinite delight, and rests in his love; and here the whole church of the first-born, are eternally secure from the awful curse of the holy law, from the tremendous frown of stern vindictive justice, and from all the burning bolts of omnipotent vengeance. Amidst the fiery deluge which will soon desolate the universe they must all stand secure and undismayed; for being “saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation” (Isaiah 45:17), they shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.