The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33

Many pictures in the Old Testament teach us something about Jesus. Every major figure in the Bible points to him. Every king reminds us of the promise of a future King. On this occasion, we see King David so distraught over the death of Absalom that he wished he could’ve died as a substitute.

Likewise, Jesus our king was so distraught over the death penalty that sin brought that he voluntarily died as our substitute. Absalom wasn’t a virtuous person yet David loved him greatly and was willing to die in his place. Likewise, we aren’t virtuous people but Jesus loves us greatly and did die in our place.

David shows us that when you love greatly you are willing to lay down your life for another. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). David reminds us how much Jesus loves us.

Jesus taught his disciples to look for him in the Old Testament. When he walked with the couple on the Emmaus Road, he began “… with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Philip did the same thing when he found the Ethiopian reading from Isaiah. “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus” (Acts 8:35).

The more we understand Jesus and his ministry, the more we will see him in the stories of the Old Testament.