TYPES AND SHADOWS OF SALVATION BETWEEN GETHSEMANE AND GOLGOTHA

A.B. Melchizedek
7 min readJan 14, 2024
Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum

We shall consider three incidents between Gethsemane and the eventual crucifixion of Christ and how they mirror facets of the salvation His death and eventual resurrection was to accomplish.

Healing of the High priest servants’ ear

And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.” (Luke 22:47–51)

Peter, in a hazardous mix of anger and his zeal to defend Jesus, cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. This was a crime that could have gotten him imprisoned and prematurely ended his ministry. His reputation would have been permanently ruined. What does Jesus do? He healed the ear and in doing so, destroyed the evidence against Peter. Interestingly, we never see any reference to this incident again throughout the New Testament. It was as if it never happened.

“Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins.” (Proverbs 10:12)

It is interesting that Peter references this very proverb in his epistle, Could he have remembered that incident when Jesus in love, covered his sin against the high priest’s servant? Could he also have had the incident of Christ responding to him in love after he had denied him three times when push came to shove in mind?

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

This is precisely what Jesus did on the cross. In the words of Paul,

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14)

“Handwriting of requirements that was against us” is a record of debt from a creditor, hence some translations, like the ESV would reflect “record of debt” instead. Just as there was no evidence against Peter to anybody seeking to convict him, there is no evidence against the believer in Christ because every debt/contrary evidence to the believer’s justification was nailed to the cross of Christ.

This is why Paul says,

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

(Romans 8:33)

Little wonder Apostle Paul who understood this, despite his past conduct of persecuting the church and consenting to the death of Stephen the martyr, could say of himself,

Open your hearts to us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one.” (2 Corinthians 7:2)

And again,

“Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1)

He understood that depths of Christ’s love and how much of his sin that had been covered. (Romans 8:38–39)

Friendship between Pilate and Herod

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.

Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.

Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.” (Luke 23:6–12)

Herod was the ruler of the Jews being a Jew himself while Pilate was a Roman appointed by Rome to govern the region. It is interesting that they had been at enmity but it was the body of Christ (i.e. Him physically being in contact with both of them as part of His trial) that united them and made them friends. This foreshadowed the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the body of Christ, the church.

Jews and Gentiles did not mix prior to the coming of Christ. This was so entrenched in Jewish thought that it took a very radical vision to Peter in order to get him to preach to Cornelius in Acts 10. When he got to Cornelius household he said,

Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

In fact after he had gone to Cornelius household, he needed to explain himself to the Jews in Acts 11. It is the cross of Christ that united Jews and Gentiles in one body and destroyed the enmity between them,

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

(Ephesians 2:11–18)

In the gospel, there is no Jew or Gentile anymore. There is no enmity between Herod and Pilate anymore because of Christ. The Jew and Gentile are reconciled to God in one body and to each other in Christ’s cross. Herod and Pilate were a type of the Jew and the Gentile being reconciled to each other.

Barabbas’ release

Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas” — who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Barabbas was a rebellious murderer, a guilty man who was justly imprisoned by the legal system. He was exchanged for Jesus, the one in whom no fault was found. What makes this story even more interesting is that the name Barabbas means “son of the father”. So it was one Son of the Father, ( the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God) being swapped for another son of the Father (as many as believe in the Son of God).

Barabbas became a type of the believer, who rightfully stands condemned before God but is released only because someone else has taken his place. It took a sinless man to be delivered to death in place of a sinful one, this was a microcosm of the post resurrection reality Peter writes,

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18)

Christ’s sufferings, death and eventual resurrection were to release “Barabbas” who represents the other sons of God. Remember Jesus was to be the first born from the dead among “many brethren”. (Romans 8:29).

Conclusion

The whole of scripture alludes to the suffering of Christ on the cross for the redemption of humanity. Even in His final acts leading up to His death, this trend continues. The sins of His disciples are covered by His atonement, Jews and Gentiles can now be reconciled to each other and we who have put our faith in Christ can now be free as sons of God because the Son of God has taken the punishment rightly due to us.

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A.B. Melchizedek

Crusader for the truth of the gospel and the logical coherence within the context of the scriptural worldview.