In last Saturday’s post, Looking for the Living Among the Dead, we saw how Jesus talked to the two men on the road to Emmaus who thought He was dead. “…beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27-34)
Here in Genesis we see what I believe is just one example of how Jesus is found in the writings of Moses and all the prophets. Perhaps Christ even shared something similar with the two on the road to Emmaus.
Joseph’s Response to the Sins of His Brothers
Jacob, the father of Joseph and his brothers, has just passed away. The funeral is over, and the family is back at home in Egypt, trying to return to their normal routine. It’s at this time, all the wrongs Joseph’s brothers committed against Joseph, come flooding into their minds: they hated him because he was their father’s favorite, they plotted to kill him, they tossed him into a cistern, they sold him into slavery, then they lied to their father and told him Joseph was dead.
And now Jacob is gone. And they think Joseph has just been waiting for the right time to settle the score. They think he’s angry. They think he’s ready for revenge. So they throw themselves down before Joseph, the powerful Prime Minister, and beg for his forgiveness.
But Joseph’s response… it wasn’t anything like what they expected. Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.” And he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And he said, “I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. The pay back they feared never came. (Genesis 50:15-21)
Jesus’ Response to Your Sins
We sometimes think of God the way Joseph’s brothers thought of Joseph: an angry old man keeping track of our mistakes and just waiting for the right time to pounce. But that’s not who he is at all. Some parts of the bible, if taken without regard for the whole, and if taken without regard for the gospels, might lend that impression. But when Philip said to Jesus, “…show us the Father…” Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:8-9) I’ve noticed, the people who genuinely want to know the true nature of God, find their answers by studying the life of Jesus Christ. My friends who don’t want to let go of their lives, the ones who want to do things–even small things–that aren’t in line with God’s words, they tend to be the ones who look in the scriptures for that angry old man, or for anything else that might give them a reason to reject His ways.
I know for me, when all my sins flood into my mind, I sometimes think Jesus has been keeping a record of them, and is going to settle the score. But when I go to him in the scriptures, I see I’ve been forgiven. I see how Jesus says to us all, Don’t be afraid. And he says, You harmed me–even killed me–but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. And he says, I will provide for you and your children, a way of salvation. And he reassures me, and speaks kindly to me.
That is the mercy of Jesus, the greater than Joseph.
The Truth About God’s Nature
The truth about the nature of God is found in Jesus. If you want to know the Father, study His Son. Study the gospels. Study the Old Testament looking for Jesus Christ at every turn.
You’ll find him there.
Joseph’s Life, a Prophetic Picture of Jesus
The parallels between Joseph and Jesus are astounding. Below you’ll find a list of ways Joseph’s life paints a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ–this is just one example of finding Jesus in the scriptures.
- Joseph was his father’s favorite, even as Jesus would be his Father’s favorite: Genesis 37:3, Matthew 3:17
- Joseph was a shepherd, even as Jesus would be the good shepherd: Genesis 37:2, John 10:11, 27
- Joseph was sent by his father to his brothers, even as Jesus’ Father would send him to his brothers, the Jews: Genesis 37:13-14, John 5:30
- Joseph was hated and envied by his brothers, even as Jesus would be hated and envied by his brothers: Genesis 37:4, Matthew 27:17-18
- Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him, even as Jesus’ brothers would plot to kill him: Genesis 37:20, John 11:53
- Joseph was tempted and resisted, even as Jesus would be tempted and resist: Genesis 39:7-8, Matthew 4:1
- Joseph was stripped of his robe, even as Jesus would be stripped of his clothes: Genesis 37:23, John 19:23
- Joseph’s life was sold for silver, even as Jesus’ life would be sold for silver: Genesis 37:38, Matthew 26:15
- Joseph was falsely accused, even as Jesus would be falsely accused: Genesis 39:12-20, Matthew 26:59-60
- Joseph was with two other convicts, one who would be saved, and one who would be lost. Jesus was on the cross with two other convicts, one who would be saved, and one who would be lost: Genesis 40:2-3, Luke 23:32
- Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharoah king of Egypt, even as Jesus would be 30 years old when he entered the service of the King of kings: Genesis 41:46, Luke 3:23
- Joseph was exalted after his suffering, even as Jesus would be exalted after his suffering: Genesis 41:41-43, Philippians 2:9-11
- Joseph forgave those who wronged him, even as Jesus would forgive those who wronged him: Genesis 45:1-15, Luke 23:34
- Joseph saved the nation of Egypt, and other nations, even as Jesus would save his people, and the nations of the world: Genesis 45:7, John 3:16-17
- What men did to harm Joseph, God used to save people, even as what men did to harm Jesus, God would use to save people: Genesis 50:20, 1 Corinthians 2:7-8
Jesus said to them on the road to Emmaus:
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
[Image via mindgraph – Creative Commons]
[Related articles and resources: Jon Courson, Application Commentary, Old Testament, Vol. 1, Thomas Nelson, 2005]