During this whole week we ware taking a quick overview of the Bible and tracing the Lamb of God from beginning to end. I mentioned there are many rabbit trails we could take off on, but I will do my best to refrain. Still, there is one I feel we need to cover, slightly off the trail, but very significant to this study. Yesterday, we left off with Abraham and his faith in the word of God. He trusted God’s word and it was credit to him as Righteousness. Want to know how to be a righteous person? Trust God’s word.
Throughout all of the Book of Genesis there are pictures of Jesus. It is a wonderful study that we skimmed the surface on with the 12 Pictures of Jesus in Genesis series from last Fall. Within that study is the story of Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Jacob. Remember, there is Abraham, his son Isaac and Isaac’s son Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel (aka Jacob, his name was changed). We learned about the most significant son to our study of the Lamb, Judah, here.
But there is another son who is significant, in that he is a perfect picture of Jesus. That would be Joseph. One of the two sons of Rachael, (the other son is Benjamin). Because Jacob loved Rachael so much, (much more than he loved Leah), her sons were his favorite…. Joseph was given the coat of many colors, remember? His brothers were jealous of his special treatment by their father. Plus remember they are the sons of the wife he didn’t love, Leah, and I’m sure that played a huge part in their resentment of him.
How is he a picture of Jesus? To begin with, Joseph had lofty ideas that caused his brothers to hate him. He had a close relationship with God and God revealed things to him. He told them of dreams he had showing that one day they would bow down to him. They hated him. How dare he? His brothers decided to get rid of him. They wanted to kill him, which is what they did to Jesus, but in this case, they simply sold him into slavery. When they returned home, they told their father he had been killed by wild animals. Jacob was devastated.
Joseph was carried off to a foreign land. He ended up in Egypt and had a good life, until he was accused of something he didn’t do and thrown into prison. After he was released from prison, he took a gentile wife, in this foreign gentile land…similar to Jesus taking a gentile bride and being accepted and loved around the world, yet not in his own land and his by own people.
After interpreting a dream for Pharaoh, Joseph was released from prison. Joseph ruled Egypt, second only to pharaoh. God revealed to him through a dream that a great famine was coming. For seven years there were abundant crops and Joseph stored up grain so the people were prepared for the seven years of famine, which were coming. His brothers heard of there being grain in Egypt and went for help.
When they saw Joseph, they didn’t recognize him.
Joseph was so devastated when he saw his brothers that he ran into another room to cry and mourn his loss. Oh, what could have been, if they hadn’t rejected him? If they had accepted him as their brother. Instead they treated him with contempt and hatred. They got rid of him.
And we see Jesus, just before he entered Jerusalem, weeping and crying “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem how oft I would have gather you as a mother hen her chicks, but you would not.” Much like Joseph’s brothers, when the jews saw Jesus they didn’t recognize that he was their Messiah, the son of God. They treated him with contempt and hatred to the point of killing him. Just what Joseph’s brothers wanted to do. And like Joseph, He was their savior.
When Joseph’s brother realize who Joseph is, they are mortified that he may try to kill them. Joseph is in a great position of power and he could have killed them all. But instead, like the compassionate Messiah, Joseph has mercy on his brothers. Joseph is brought out of prison/ death to a place of honor in order to provide bread/ life to his brothers who rejected him. This is a picture of the messiah.
The next picture of the Lamb is 400 years later. There is a pharaoh and he does not remember Joseph and how he saved the people from starvation, during the famine. The Israelites are still in Egypt and are great in number. They are slaves now and weary and want to go home. God is going to use this experience to show everyone, for centuries to come, the importance of the Lamb of God.
See you tomorrow….