The Interceding Prophet
1 Samuel 7:9 (ESV) — So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him.
Shadows of Jesus lurk all over the Old Testament. These glimpses point beyond themselves and offer us pictures of what the Christ would look like. The Old Testament has many of these pictures. Isaac on the mountain top being offered as a sacrifice. Jonah spit out of the fish after three days left for dead. David the king who rules with justice and mercy. Isaiah the prophet who speaks the truth of God despite suffering as a result.
Our passage today is one of those passages. We read in 1 Samuel 7:9, “So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. And Samuel cried out to the LORD for Israel, and the LORD answered him.”
Samuel the prophet shows a picture of Christ in this passage by his intercession for Israel. He takes a spotless lamb and offers sacrifice before the LORD. The goal is to make atonement for Israel’s sins. Samuel cried out to the LORD on their behalf, and He answered them. This is how Jesus works for us. He is our Mediator before the LORD. Jesus goes before the LORD on behalf of the guilty. The difference is Jesus doesn’t bring a spotless lamb. He is the spotless lamb. Jesus is both our High Priest and the sacrificial lamb slain for us.
Jesus has offered Himself for our sins. The once and for all sacrifice of Christ on the cross satisfies the wrath of God against us. He offered His body as a substitute for us, and He pleads our case before the Father. He intercedes for our needs and goes before us. We have access through the Great High Priest who makes our case before God. We have access through His sacrificial death as the Lamb of God slain for sinners. What a Savior we have in Jesus!
The Old Testament screams about His coming. Only those with their eyes covered fail to see it. For those of us who see it, we should marvel at the amazing grace and mercy given to us. It is undeserved yet given freely. There’s no one like Jesus.
The interceding Samuel paints a picture of a Greater One to follow him. And it wasn’t just Israel on His mind like in our text, but us. Worship the Lord today for His mercy and grace to you.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does someone have to intercede on behalf of sinners? Why is there a sacrifice needed?
- What do these glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament teach us about His work?
- How should our hearts respond to this passage and teaching today?
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