The Ark and the Cross

the-bible-arkI’ve been reading Peter Leithart’s The Four: A Survey of the Gospels. Pair that with a reading this summer of James Jordan’s Through New Eyes, and I’m looking all over for biblical typology.

I’m sure that nothing of what I’m about to write is new; or, if so, I’m sure that I’ve veering close to heresy somewhere.

That said, I was struck by the parallels of Jesus and Nthe crossoah.

Consider the following:

In both stories, the evil on the earth has increased. Noah is alone the righteous man; so with Jesus (the better Noah). Jesus comes to an oppressed people, to one beset by the evil of Rome, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, to a sinful people. He alone is holy.

In both stories, there is a drawing unto salvation. God draws the animals to Noah that they may be preserved. Jesus says of Himself “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

In both stories, the one righteous preserves the all. Noah, with his wife and children, preserve all mankind physically. Mankind is not swept away. Jesus, alone, comes to save the world. Noah can save no one-he must be saved, as he himself bears the evil in himself. Jesus saves all-he bears the evil of others though He himself is without sin.

In both stories, there is a wooden vessel. Noah constructs, by God’s design, the ark as the vessel of salvation. Jesus is nailed to a wooden vessel, the cross, which becomes the vessel of salvation.

In both stories, there is a new creation through destruction. The very fountains of the earth burst; the firmament is rent, the barrier between the heavens and earth, and water pours down. Creation is undone; creation is remade. At Jesus’ death, the ground shakes, darkness descends. The temple veil is rent, the representation of the firmament. The heavens and the earth are no longer separate.

In both stories, the same action brings both blessings and cursings. For those in Noah’s time, the deluge is a curse, a destruction. Yet the deluge is salvation to Noah, a deliverance from the sin of the world. Noah is saved less from the flood than by the flood (I Peter 3). For the rent veil of the temple, the flood of God’s grace in Jesus’ blood is a curse to those who reject Him. To them it is destruction. To those who cling to the cross, the blood is salvation, blessing, healing, and health.

Jesus is taken up in a wooden vessel and says He will draw all men to Himself, just as God drew the animals to Noah. The temple veil is rent, bringing the heavens through the firmament onto earth in both judgment and blessing. The foundations of the world are shaken. Either one “gets on” the ark and the splitting veil, the torrent of grace, is a means of salvation by the deluge or one of judgment as one is engulfed by it.

In both stories, there is a resurrection. Noah passes through the waves and is resurrected again in the image of Adam, as the first man, the first family of men. Jesus is the Second Adam, the first New Man, to create a new family of men.

Jesus is the better Noah; He bears no evil, He needs no salvation, He alone can save men, He alone can bring recreation; He alone can resurrect Himself.

Why does this matter? The more that we see Jesus not just as the incarnation of all of the Godhead but as the culmination of all the stories, all the Scriptures, the more that we will find in him the culmination of all our stories. The more that His life will become our life as we find our life in Him.

I’m encouraged. My life is not my own. My story is not my own. I truly receive my story, truly become myself, in finding in Him the fullness of who I am and the story God is writing in and of and through me.

Todd Wedel