Jesus: The Greater Samson

“He will swallow up death forever; and the LORD God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the Earth, for the LORD has spoken.” – Isaiah 25:8

After 300 years of judges, the final judge is Samson. The people and their leaders have gone from bad to worse. The lesson learned is that more time and new leaders do not make things better but, in fact, make things worse.

This sets the stage for the First and Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the Greater Judge. In His first coming, Jesus Christ went to the cross to be judged for sinners as our Savior. In His second coming, Jesus Christ will judge the living and the dead, establish His Kingdom, and rule forever, as everyone does what is right in God’s eyes and stops doing what is right in their own eyes.

According to a Bible commentary on Judges:

To Hebrews, the Samson saga is about the gospel of Christ. Samson, the twelfth judge, is the final Spirit-endowed leader who anticipates and typifies the coming Christ. Jesus is the One who destroys the spiritual strongholds of this world. He brings out of the spiritually dead world something sweet for God, a community of faith. His birth is announced beforehand by an angel. His conception is miraculous. He is rejected by his own people. Its leaders bind him and hand him over to their pagan overlords (16:13). His saving work is consummated in his death, a death in which he brings down Dagon and lays the foundation for a deliverance to be more fully manifested in the future. In other words, here, in this most unlikely figure, we see, possibly more clearly than anywhere else in the Old Testament, the shape of things to come. Samson was a Nazirite like Jesus. The Spirit was with him throughout his adult life. And Jesus, as he was about to die, also prayed to the God who had forsaken him. Here once more we are treated to a Spirit-endowed leader, who can accomplish anything at all when God is with him. Samson shows, more than any previous judge, that a man with the Spirit can be larger than life, can be stronger, can be whatever he needs to be, if God has called him. This points to Saul’s early years as the king of Israel effectively waging holy war against the uncircumcised. It points beyond Saul to David, on whom the Spirit rested when Samuel anointed him. This anointed king greatly extended Israel’s boundaries, brought the ark to Jerusalem, and led Israel in worship with song. But it also points well beyond David to David’s Anointed Son, the Christ, who in the Spirit could accomplish all of God’s will, in a miraculous way well beyond anything attributed to Samson, and whose death saved the whole world from satanic tyranny. (1)

Take some time to worship and thank the LORD Jesus for coming as the greater Samson. 

1.    George M. Schwab, Right in Their Own Eyes: The Gospel According to Judges, ed. Tremper Longman III (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2011), 174–175

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