HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
In the Gospels, Matthew quotes the prophet Hosea saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Matthew 2:15 says, “Where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’”
This initially looks like a prophecy of Christ fulfilled, but as we look at the original context in Hosea 11:1, we find that it is not. Look at what it says: “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”
Hosea originally spoke about God calling Israel out of Egypt, but Matthew uses it in reference to Jesus when his family fled to Egypt to protect him from Herod. This wasn’t a prophecy at all; it was typology. Matthew was saying that Israel is an Old Testament shadow of Christ.
Matthew essentially says when you saw Israel, you saw a picture of the Son. The Son went to Egypt when Herod was seeking to kill him, just as Israel went to Egypt during the famine. The Son went into the wilderness to be tempted for forty days just as Israel went into the wilderness for forty years. The Son is a light unto the world and a blessing to all nations as Israel was supposed to be. Israel is a picture of Christ.
In fact, when you read the Servant Songs in Isaiah (Isaiah 42, 49, 50, and 53) in speaking about the suffering servant, many of the references have baffled scholars. Is he talking about Israel or the messiah? Isaiah 53 is clearly talking about the Messiah, but many of the other ones seem to be talking about both Christ and Israel. This is because Israel is a reflection of Christ.
Christ completely fulfilled the law and the Christian is no longer under it. Christ not only fulfilled it by his righteous life, but also by fulfilling the types—the pictures—that were given to represent his coming. When Christ came to the earth, died, and was resurrected, there was no longer any need for the pictures. The reality had come.