The scarlet cord that runs through the entire Bible

My wife and I are currently studying through the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. The more believers study the Old Testament, the more we comprehend, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation are woven throughout the entire text via symbolism/typology.

Take Joshua, who the Lord chose to be Moses’ successor. Moses had disobeyed God by striking the rock at Kadesh to obtain water for the Israelites rather than speaking to the rock as God had commanded (Numbers 20:2-13). Moses had previously struck a rock at Rephidim to obtain water (Exodus 17:1-7), but a rock was not to be struck again. This is a wonderful typology of Jesus, the Rock, dying only once for sins, and, after that, the living waters of salvation being obtained only through appeal to the Savior by faith and prayer. Because of Moses’ disobedience, God did not allow him to enter the Promised Land. Moses represented the Law. His successor, Joshua/Yeshua/Jesus (meaning “The Lord Is Salvation”), would be the one to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. This is a wonderful typology of salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ rather than through the Law.

Yesterday, in preparation for our next devotion time, I was studying Joshua, chapter 2, which deals with the two spies sent by Joshua to scout the fortified city of Jericho. We all know that it was Rahab* the prostitute who hid the spies from soldiers sent out by the king of Jericho to search for them. The spies made a pact with Rahab, saying if she left a scarlet rope hanging from her window, all those inside would be spared by the invading Israelite army. Scarlet? Why not black? Or blue? Or green? No, the rope was scarlet red because it symbolized the blood of the Savior to come, Jesus Christ, which was also typified by the blood of the guiltless lamb sacrifice smeared on the door posts and lintel of the Hebrew homes in Goshen on the first Passover.

I know many of you are already aware of these foreshadowings of the Lord Jesus, but I just had to stop and praise God for the theme of salvation in Jesus Christ that runs throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation! For centuries, rabbinic scholars have studied the Old Testament day and night, but they were blind to these simple yet profound symbols and types of the Savior Messiah.

*In Matthew 1:5-6 we find that Rahab married Salmon of the tribe of Judah, and that “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.” Hence, Jesus Christ’s human lineage can be traced back to Rahab, the Jerichoan prostitute. What other religion’s “holy book” would confess such a thing of its founder? The name, Rahab, means “spacious or broad” in Hebrew and some suggest this referred to Rahab’s rather loose morals. Joshua 2:11 says the hearts of all the inhabitants of Jericho melted from fear of the approaching Israelites, but it was only Rahab the prostitute who turned to Yaweh for salvation by faith, calling to mind Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the (self) righteous but sinners to repentance.”

17 thoughts on “The scarlet cord that runs through the entire Bible

    1. Thanks, sister! My soul leaps for joy over such passages as the story of Rahab and the scarlet rope. When the Lord walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, I wonder what passages He referred to regarding “what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

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      1. It is truly a joyful thing! I love to see the connections too, like Rahab connected to Boaz, connected to King David. All those names and places come alive, and it’s easier to remember they were real people!

        You know the worst verse, to me, in the Bible is at the end of Johns gospel when he says Jesus did many other things which would take up all the world if they were written down. I want to know. I hope eternity is filled with road of Emmaus experiences!

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      2. RE: Boaz

        Boaz, is one of my favorite OT Christ-types, the kinsman-redeemer marrying his bride, Ruth (the church/me), as she was prompted to go Boaz by Naomi (Holy Spirit). Yup, the Book of Ruth really resonates with me.

        Oh, yes, I’m looking forward to that road of Emmaus Bible class as well! I’m also looking forward to understanding the “relationship” between the Lord’s sovereignty and man’s free will.

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      3. Yes brother, that is an excellent book! I remember about half a year after getting saved reading that book and just weeping. I think I must have read it and reread it everyday for a month. Just the shock of Christ being so clear and obvious in the OT was something too great for my small mind. I had never heard of typology before then, it really isn’t taught in the church I came out of. It’s one of the most beautiful, blessed things we can learn and teach about scripture!

        I had to laugh out loud over your last comment, brother! You and me both! When I was young I use to think I’d have to ask God how batteries or TV works. Now these are things I understand, but the free will/sovereignty is a mystery. I just assumed that was due to my own hindrances intellectually. It’s good to know I’m not alone!

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      4. RE: I remember about half a year after getting saved reading that book and just weeping. I think I must have read it and reread it everyday for a month. Just the shock of Christ being so clear and obvious in the OT was something too great for my small mind.

        Sister, my reaction exactly! I’d like to think that I’m not given over to emotion easily, but I also wept while reading Ruth. So loving of the Lord to give us that book to illustrate the deeeeeep relationship He seeks with us. Here’s a post from last year on Ruth that discusses the other kinsman mentioned in the book:

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