jeremiah & jesus

Next week our Wednesday morning Bible at Breakfast group is discussing chapter seven of the book of Jeremiah. The story told there is an obvious point of contact between Jeremiah and Jesus. The correspondences between Jeremiah and Jesus seem largely forgotten in the church these days (witness the lack of passages from Jeremiah's Temple sermon and trial read in the church during Holy Week). Yet these parallels have long been recognized, as noted in the following quotation by H. Wheeler Robinson (originally published in 1915):

" ... it is plain that there is no life in the Old Testament which more closely resembles the life of our Lord. Jeremiah was prepared for his work in a village home, but the time came when Anathoth ceased to be a home for himself as did Nazareth for Jesus, and his friends must often have said of him, as was said of Jesus, 'He is beside himself'. The words and deeds of both were jealously watched by plotting rivals ... There is a very real parallel between the prophet of Anathoth standing at the Temple gate to denounce the futility of confidence in empty forms, and the prophet of Nazareth overthrowing the tables of the money-changers within it, whilst he quoted this prophet's own words ... Those words brought Jeremiah to the very verge of death as they brought Jesus beyond it. But for the son of man and the Son of God the sorest pain was not the scourging or death, but that agony of spirit which sees the tragic drift of those well loved, whilst it is powerless to arrest their course ... Jeremiah and Jesus both wept over Jerusalem. So there were good grounds for those who in our Lord's time identified him with the prophet of Anathoth, come back to earth, and there is peculiar congruity in the fact that the figure of the Lamb of God, which has become the rightful name of Jesus, historically and primarily belongs to this forerunner of his, who said of himself, with perfect truth, that he was like a lamb led to the slaughter ... The prophet carried a cross before Christ, and carried it, more than any other in the Old Testament, in the spirit of Christ."

- H. Wheeler Robinson, The Cross in the Old Testament (SCM Press, London, 1955), pp. 150-151.

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