Christ in the Old Testament: Sisera’s Crushed Skull

It is natural in the Evangelical world to either not read the Old Testament or read in it a manner that casts a cover of irrelevance over its content. Many claim that it doesn’t apply to Christians and therefore has no place in our reading, studying, and preaching. Others simply neglect to give it their attention.

What we often don’t realize is that the entire body of sacred scripture is God’s method of communicating with humans. The Old Testament may contain things that seem strange (such as the Jewish dietary laws), but rest assured that God has a purpose for including those things in the canon for our edification and His glory.

One fascinating thing that I have neglected to see until recently is that there are countless allusions to Christ in the Old Testament. God alluded to Christ in Genesis 3:15 when He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel, ” (ESV). That offspring would eventually bear the wrath of God for the elect upon a hill called Golgotha, or the place of a skull, thereby crushing the skull of Satan.

With that in mind, it’s hard to read the account of Sisera’s death in Judges and not be reminded of Christ. Read the following passages and tell me if you find the same allusion:

But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple. (Judges 4:17-22, ESV)

Now read Deborah’s summary:

She sent her hand to the tent peg and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet; she struck Sisera; she crushed his head; she shattered and pierced his temple. (Judges 5:26, ESV)


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