Samson: A Foreshadow of Christ
November 16, 2023 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

The Bible tells us that the stories of the Old Testament were recorded as examples to us (1 Corinthians 10:6 NIV84).

The Bible is a record of historical people, real events, and literal places. But the Bible is more than a history book. The specific lives and events recorded in Scripture were included by the inspiration of God for the purpose of advancing the plan of salvation. We read about the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because it was through them and their families and descendants that the promised Messiah would come (Genesis 3:15).

But even more than this, many of the life experiences recorded are examples, object lessons, or foreshadows of greater realities in the plan of salvation.

For instance, there were seven miracle births recorded in the Bible besides Jesus’ virgin birth. These other miracle births were not virgin births; they were women with infertility whom God healed—thus, it was a miracle of healing the malady of infertility so that the women would become pregnant in the normal way. These seven special births all represent Jesus in some way:

  1. Sarah—Isaac: represents the promised Child who would be sacrificed.
  2. Rebekah—Jacob: in union with God, Jacob wrestled with his own fears and selfishness and overcame, eventually becoming the father of the nation built upon his twelve sons. This foreshadows Jesus, who wrestled with temptation and overcame to be the cornerstone of the church, which was built upon the work of the twelve apostles.
  3. Rachel—Joseph: the events in Joseph’s life greatly foreshadow the life of Jesus; you can read more about this in our blog Joseph: A Foreshadow of Christ.
  4. Hannah—Samuel: represents our heavenly High Priest, Jesus.
  5. Shunammite woman—child who died and was resurrected: represents Jesus, who died and rose again.
  6. Elizabeth—John the Baptist: John was described as the greatest of prophets and accurately represents Jesus, who was the greatest of all prophets.
  7. Monoah’s wife—Samson

Samson: A Foreshadow of the Savior

Samson was a child from a miracle birth, foreshadowing, as the others above, the miracle birth of Jesus our Savior.

Samson was blessed with supernatural physical strength. Jesus was blessed with supernatural spiritual strength.

Samson’s physical strength came from his connection with God. Jesus, as our human Savior, received His spiritual strength from His connection with His Father.

Jesus said,

I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. … By myself I can do nothing (John 5:19, 30 NIV84).

Samson used his supernatural strength to confront and overthrow enemies of Israel, and when attacked by a lion, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord and tore the beast apart with his bare hands (Judges 14:4, 6).

Jesus was filled with the Spirit of the Lord and used His supernatural spiritual strength to confront, overcome, and destroy our enemies—including Satan the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), along with his lies and the power of death itself:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14, 15 NIV84).

Samson challenged his enemies in various riddles (Judges 14:12). Jesus challenged his enemies with parables and life examples (John 21:25–46).

Samson loved a reprobate, untrustworthy woman whom he made his wife, and she betrayed him. Jesus loves humanity, who is described as an adulterous woman that He made His wife, and she (we) betrayed, rejected, and crucified Him (Jeremiah 3:20; 9:2; James 4:4).

Samson was the last of the judges to rule over Israel. Jesus is the ultimate judge over all things (John 5:27).

Samson, in his death, destroyed the pagan temple and those hardened in their rebellion against God. Jesus, by His death, destroyed the synagogue of Satan, him who holds the power of death, destroying death and bringing life and immortality to light, and destroyed the devil’s work (Hebrews 2:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 John 3:8).

The Bible is the record of real, historical people who lived real, historical lives. But it is even more: It is a divine revelation of God’s love, character, methods, principles, and His plan to save you and me from sin.

As you study Scripture, not only learn the historical facts, but also seek the deep eternal truths—the ultimate truths are the truths about God as revealed by Jesus!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.