We have a natural tendency to attempt to understand what we don’t know by extrapolating from what we do. This works well in much of life, but not so much when it comes to theology, for God comes before comparisons and supersedes them all. When it comes to Christ, he is more unlike than like what we know. This quote from the old preacher De Witt Talmage celebrates how Christ was “the great unlike.”
All good men have for centuries been trying to tell whom this Substitute was like, but every comparison, inspired and uninspired, evangelistic, prophetic, apostolic, and human falls short, for Christ was the Great Unlike.
- Adam a type of Christ, because he came directly from God;
- Noah a type of Christ, because he delivered his own family from the deluge;
- Melchizedek a type of Christ, because he had no predecessor or successor;
- Joseph a type of Christ, because he was cast out by his brethren;
- Moses a type of Christ, because he was a deliverer from bondage;
- Joshua a type of Christ, because he was a conqueror;
- Samson a type of Christ, because of his strength to slay the lions and carry off the iron gates of impossibility;
- Solomon a type of Christ, in the affluence of his dominion;
- Jonah a type of Christ, because of the stormy sea in which he threw himself for the rescue of others.
But put together Adam and Noah and Melchizedek and Joseph and Moses and Joshua and Samson and Solomon and Jonah, and they would not make a fragment of a Christ, a quarter of a Christ, the half of a Christ, or the millionth part of a Christ.
He forsook a throne and sat down on His own footstool. He came from the top of glory to the bottom of humiliation, and exchanged a circumference seraphic, for a circumference diabolic. Once waited on by angels, now hissed at by brigands.
From afar and high up He came down; a-past meteors, swifter than they; by starry thrones, Himself more lustrous; past larger worlds to smaller worlds; downstairs of firmaments, and from cloud to cloud, and through the treetops and into the camel’s stall, to thrust His shoulder under our burdens and take the lances of pain through His vitals, and to wrap Himself in all the agonies which we deserve for our misdoings, and stood on the splitting decks of a foundering vessel, amid the drenching surf of the sea, and passed midnights on the mountains amid wild beasts of prey, and stood at the point where all earthly and infernal hostilities charged on Him at once with their keen sabres—our Substitute!