A Foreshadowing of the Messiah in the Life of Joseph


The story of Joseph is a story about the unfaithfulness of God’s Covenant people and their eventual redemption. The son’s of Jacob represent the history of the people of Israel.

· Joseph was observed by his brothers as being the most favored of his father Israel. (Gen. 37:3) Eventually, one would come who would be the favorite of his father and he would tell his brothers that he was the most favored of the Father. (Matt. 3:16-17; John 10:30)

· Joseph told his brothers they would eventually bow to him, at a second reunion (Gen. 37:7,9; 42:6-8). Yeshua told the Jewish people of his day that he was the Messiah, and they would call out to him at a second coming (Matt. 23:39; 24:27-30). During his trial he told the High Priest that he would ascend and descend from the right hand of the Father (Matt. 26:64).

· Joseph angered his brothers and was rejected by them (Gen. 37: 5, 8, 11). They conspired to slay him. (Gen. 37:18) Eventually they simulated his death and sold him to the Ishmaelites knowing that he would be sold into Egyptian bondage. The Messiah also angered his people by claiming to be one with the Father and one who had the power to forgive sins (John 10:30-39). They also conspired to kill him (John 11:49-53). He was betrayed by one of the 12 apostles to the Jewish religious leadership of his day for 30 pieces of silver (Ps. 41:9; Zech. 11: 12-13). He was then handed over to the Romans to be publically executed. This was part of God’s plan as described in Isaiah 53 to grant freedom from the bondage to sin.

· The sons of Israel sought the demise of Joseph and Yeshua. Joseph was despised and rejected by his brothers, and they didn’t recognize him in Egypt because he appeared entirely Egyptian. Similarly, Yeshua was despised and rejected by his Jewish brothers and sisters, and they have not recognized His true identity for many centuries because He has been presented as a foreign god.

· Just as the Lord was with Joseph, so God was well pleased with the Messiah (Gen. 41:38; Matt. 3:16). Just as Joseph found grace, the Messiah provided grace to those who accepted his sacrifice. Just as Joseph became a servant in his masters house, so Yeshua said he came to serve not to be served.

· Just as Joseph resisted the temptation of Potiphar’s wife and was imprisoned because of it, Yeshua resisted the temptations of the Devil and incurred all of Satan’s wrath and sin through his arrest, trial, torture and execution on the cross. Just as Joseph was cast in prison, the Lord saw to it that he prospered. So Yeshua after his arrest, passion, and death, brought multitudes to a messianic faith.

· Just as Joseph could foretell the future by reading dreams, so Yeshua predicted the future through his prophetical insight (Gen. 41:15-37; Matt. 20-19).

· In the same way that Joseph preserved his family and Egypt with bread, Yeshua, who was born in Bethlehem (House of Bread) is the Bread of Life who sustains us (John 6:35).

“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)

· Just as Joseph was appointed second in command to Pharaoh and the people were told to bow before him, so Yeshua revealed that he was the Son of God, the Messiah, and accepted worship. (Gen 41:43-44; John 9:35-38)

· Just as Joseph’s wife was not of the tribes of Israel, so the bride of the Messiah, the church is mostly made of gentile believers. (Gen. 41:45; John 10:16)

· Joseph was 30 when he came to power in Egypt (Gen. 41:46), as was Yeshua when he began His ministry in Israel (Luke 3:23).

· However, just as Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, Yeshua will be revealed and recognized as the Jewish Messiah, and Israel will receive Him (Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 59:20).

“And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son…in that day there shall be great mourning in Jerusalem…and the land shall mourn every family apart…And the Redeemer shall come from Zion and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord.”



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Filed under General, Judeo-Christianity, Religion

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