What are similarities between Jesus and the Book of Judges?

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The book of Judges is in the Old Testament and is considered to be one of the "history" books in the Bible, a book that tells about events and people. Judges tells of events that happened after Joshua and Caleb brought the children of Israel into the Promised Land but before Samuel anointed Saul the first king of Israel. 

As a history book, Judges mentions several important people and it would be possible to find connections between Jesus and a number of them, but one of the most prominent people in Judges is Samson. Let's examine the relationship between Jesus, the long-awaited Messiah, and Samson. 

Both Samson's and Jesus's births were foretold and both were their mothers' first children. Samson's mother was quite old; in contrast, Mary was a virgin and quite young. 

Both Samson and Jesus were to have very special lives. Samson was dedicated before birth to be a Nazarite, which means he had religiously-based restrictions on how he was to live. These restrictions were meant to keep God in Jesus's mind as much as possible. Jesus, of course, did not need restrictions, as God was completely central to his life at all times. 

The "ministries" of Jesus and Samson were completely different. Samson broke his Nazarite vows and also had a weakness for the ladies. As strong as he was physically, he was brought down by his essential weakness in his desire for women. Jesus, in contrast, led a sinless life of service to others. 

Ultimately, both Jesus and Samson died in the process of saving their people. Samson died, blinded, in a temple to the Philistine gods because he found his strength and pulled supporting pillars down, thereby killing a lot of Israel's enemy. Jesus also chose his death; since he was able to perform miracles, he certainly could have gotten himself off of the cross. He wasn't powerless. He chose to die as the perfect sacrifice (in Old Testament terms) so God's relationship with people could be restored. Jesus suffered so everyone's sins could be forgiven. 

Across the Old Testament, there are other instances of people who shared significant characteristics with Jesus. For example, Moses is often compared to Jesus because he brought the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt while Jesus brought human beings out of the bondage of sin. As with Samson, the analogy is not perfect — there are contrasting elements because Moses and Samson were sinful. Still, Moses and Samson foreshadowed what Jesus ultimately accomplished.

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