Jehoiakim. He’s not a very well-known Biblical character, though he features prominently in the book of Jeremiah. He was the third-to-last king of Judah before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. Despite the fact that his father was Josiah, one of the morally best kings Judah ever had, he was evil (2 Kings 23:37; 2 Chron 36:5), and an utter failure as a king.
Would it surprise you, then, that I refer to him as a type of Christ?
To explain that, first we have to ask the question “What is a type?”
What is a Type?
Thanks, header text.
To put it in a simplest, least technical way possible, a type is a person, thing, or event in the Bible that points forward to something greater.  The thing it points to is confusingly (at least in our day) called the antitype. It’s not the opposite of the type; it’s the fulfillment of it.
A type points to its antitype in two ways: its similarities with the antitype and its differences from the antitype. So to see how Jehoiakim is a type of Christ, let’s start with the ways he is similar to him.
- He is a descendant of David.
- He is the king of Judah.
That’s about it. It’s not much. I suppose one could add the fact that Jehoiakim is male, but even novices to typology could tell that’s a bit of a stretch.
Now what are the differences?
- He was an evil king who refused to listen to the word of God.
- Another king, Pharoah Neco, gave him his kingdom for the purpose that he (Jehoiakim) would be subservient to him (Neco).
- He was the servant of two different kings.
- He oppressed his people to pay at least one of those kings.
One could probably go on and on. But there’s one difference I want to highlight more than the others, the one I believe that points most to Christ.
He Was a Failed Savior
Read the opening verses of Daniel:
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. (Dan 1:1–4)
God had promised before this that he would wipe out Judah due to the sins of Jehoiakim’s great-grandfather Manasseh (2 Kings 21:10–15). He promised that this judgment would come at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
In the Daniel passage, Jehoiakim was dragged out of Judah into captivity. Several people of Judah were dragged out along with him in a precursor to the exile, away from God and the promised land. He would later return as a servant of Nebuchadnezzar, but then rebelled and was murdered as punishment.  The fact that he returned without the other Judahites means that he lost some of God’s people (particularly Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael). 
In contrast, Christ submitted himself to the authorities’ sentence. When he went to the cross, he was forsaken by God (what the exile was suppose to symbolize), and was removed from his presence and the promise.
However, Christ went alone. Not one of God’s people went into that punishment with him. Actually, because Christ went into it, God will never remove us from his presence. Unlike Jehoiakim, Christ never loses any of God’s people to exile (John 6:39; 10:28; 17:12). We will never face hell, and we will enter God’s true promised land. In a sense, we already have. “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:13–14).
Jehoiakim was a very un-Christ-like man. But through his evil ways and his failure, we see the need we have of a greater king, one who submits to God, and one who actually succeeds in saving us.
 There’s a two-volume, 900-plus-page book on typology creatively titled The Typology of Scripture by Patrick Fairbairn. I haven’t read it yet, but I mention it to show just how involved the topic can be.
 Thanks to GotQuestions.org for helping me make sense of the chronology.
 It’s not a perfect comparison, because obviously God kept his people. However, as we see with Daniel and his friends, Jehoiakim lost some of God’s true, saved people rather than just people claiming to be saved.