The Scheme of Redemption

The entire Bible revolves around one, specific subject – man’s relationship with God. The entire Bible is about God’s special plan for redeeming His creation back to Himself, or what is also called, “The Scheme of Redemption.” The Scriptures are about the history of that plan of salvation (Acts 2:23; Ephesians 1:4). It is what makes every single person, place, and event inextricably linked together in an unmatched harmony carried throughout every page of God’s Holy Writ. The apostle Paul calls this overall theme of Scripture the “eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Ephesians 3:11). In his other epistles, he sometimes calls it “the mystery,” (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 1:9; 3:3-9; Col. 1:26; 1 Tim. 3:16).

Because of Paul’s education in the Scriptures and his upbringing among Jewish rabbis (Acts 22:3), he certainly understood all the connections and nuances of this singular, topical thread. This is clearly seen in his explanations of how all Scripture is related to Christianity. In Romans 5:14 and Colossians 2:17, Paul uses two special terms to describe the connecting points of the development and realization of the Scheme of Redemption. He calls them a “type” and also a “shadow of things to come.”

Type is a word that means, “an impression, figure, example.” Shadow means, “something representing another, an image cast.” The concept of “shadow and reality,” or “type and anti-type,” are a Biblical method used to explain the links between something in the Old Testament to something in the New Testament, Christian age. Think of how shadows work; they look like the object and have the same form, but they are not the actual object. Thus, a hand print of a palm is the “type,” while the actual hand that produced the print is the “anti-type.” One is the object in reality while the other is just an image, or “shadow,” of the object. Understanding this concept is absolutely crucial for identifying the Scheme of Redemption throughout the Bible.

Some examples of “type and anti-type” include things such as the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:21) being a “shadow of that which was to come,” (the type) which is Christ in reality (the anti-type). The lamb and its blood, which was sacrificed to save the Hebrews (Exodus 12:22-23), was a representation of what Christ did for humanity (John 1:29; Romans 5:8,9). Others include connections between the tabernacle to that of Christian worship, prayer, atonement, and the church. Still others include Israel representing the Christian church (1 Peter 2:9). In fact, if you sit down with your Bible and study it with the overall Scheme of Redemption in mind, then everything that the Bible contains begins to make more sense! The study of any topic such as grace, or the problem of sin, the covenants, atonement, the resurrection, or the person of Jesus will all take on a deeper, richer, and more meaningful understanding.

To study, identify and then understand the Scheme of Redemption reveals the historical connections between Abraham and the Jewish nation to the Lord’s church today. It provides clarity to why God gave the Law of Moses and instituted a sacrificial system. This kind of study will clarify Messianic prophecy, the incarnation of Jesus, and his death, burial, and resurrection. To understand the Scheme of Redemption is to understand the true role of kingdom (the church) in the past, the present, and the future. It better prepares you for the second coming of Christ, the final judgment, and the eternal realm of heaven. If you really want to grow and mature spiritually, then read and study your Bible through the lens of the Scheme of Redemption. Your life will be greatly blessed! – TS.