Monday, October 24, 2011

Joseph: A type of Christ

Gen. 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
Gen. 45:8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

The story of Joseph's life is one that is included in most children's bible story books. The love of his father, betrayal of his brothers, and slave to prince progression in Egypt make for a captivating story. However, this story, like every other one in the scriptures, is for more than entertainment purposes, it was to give the Old Testament saints a shadow of the coming Messiah, and preserved to show us God's eternal plan and sovereignty in carrying that plan out.
The story starts with a son, greatly beloved of the father, even over all his other brethren. So Christ from eternity past is the Son greatly loved by the Father, the one through whom all his brethren are loved.
However his brothers did not love him, but hated him and devised a plan to kill him. They did not kill him themselves, but handed him over to the gentiles to do the work for them. In like manner, our Savior was not loved by us initially, but we hated him and were at enmity with him. In fact his own kinsmen in the flesh, as well as those who would be later adopted into his family, devised a plan to kill him, and they turned him over to the gentile Romans to do the deed for them.
Joseph was brought to Egypt as a slave and before long found himself unjustly imprisoned, his journey to the seat at the right hand of the King of Egypt began in the humblest place possible, a prison slave. Jesus was born in a stable, thought by many to be nothing more than a cave in the ground, to the world he was seen as nothing more than the illegitimate son of a carpenter. The king of glory, came to be the only savior of mankind's plight, and it began in the basest manner imaginable.
In spite of all this, Joseph continued to serve and glorify God and he was promoted a position - so that when the world was starving, and his brethren who had thought to kill him had no other place to turn but to him - they found that their attempt to kill him had indirectly resulted in their own salvation through his mercy. Is this not the mirror image of our Savior? Who through his sinless life and death was raised again and exalted to the right hand of the Father, where he ever lives to make intercession for us. And when we realize that our famished soul has no other place to turn, we find that hand in whom our fate rests, is the one we hated even to his death, and yet in the words of the hymn writer, "Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sins!"