Day 10

Jesus Is The True & Better Joseph

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan

Genesis 37:1-11, Genesis 37:23-28, Genesis 42:1-11, Genesis 45:1-5, Genesis 50:15-21, Matthew 26:47-50, Romans 5:10

When I was eight, I dressed up as Joseph for Halloween. I glued strips of construction paper to a brown paper sack, in which my mom had cut holes for my arms and head. I guess I’ve never been a very cool kid, but at least I made my Sunday school teacher proud. (My mom was my Sunday school teacher.)

We like to dress up as guys like Joseph because it’s fun to play the hero. Let me be the guy who is loved by my dad, is betrayed by my brothers, is sold into slavery, abstains from temptation, endures prison, rises to authority, saves the day, and, in the end, forgives my brothers and provides food for their hungry children. Not to mention the whole dream interpretation gig. I’ll be that guy.

That’s the temptation when reading this kind of story: we tend to self-identify with the protagonist and then extract a simple moral lesson to apply to our life. We erroneously assume the role of Joseph and then take away from the story the lesson that we should forgive those who betray us. Certainly there are lessons from Joseph’s life and character that can be applied to our own lives, but if that’s as far as we get then we are missing the point. There is more to the story and it is stunning.

The story of Joseph—the purpose of his very life—is meant to serve as a signpost, pointing us to what will come in the life of Jesus. The rescue Joseph gives his brothers foreshadows and parallels the mission of Jesus, who came to save His people.

Joseph, a shepherd, was dearly loved by his father. (Genesis 37:3)
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was dearly loved by His Father. (Matthew 3:17)

Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and traded for silver. (Genesis 37:28)
Jesus was betrayed by Judas and traded for silver. (Matthew 26:15)

Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife but did not sin. (Genesis 39:9)
Jesus was tempted by Satan but did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Joseph was thrown into prison with two other prisoners, one who would go free and one who would be executed. (Genesis 40:2-3, 21-22)
Jesus was crucified on the cross with two criminals, one who would be saved and one who would not. (Luke 23:32, 43)

Joseph, though imprisoned, rose to a place of power and authority. (Genesis 41:42-44)
Jesus, though crucified on the cross, rose again and sits at the right hand of the throne of God. (Matthew 28:18)

Joseph showed mercy and forgave his betrayers, saving his family and nation. (Genesis 50:20-21)
Jesus shows mercy and forgives His betrayers, saving the world. (Colossians 1:13-14)

The story of Joseph is not about us. It is about Jesus and what He has done for us. In the same way that Joseph foreshadows Jesus, so Joseph’s brothers foreshadow us. We have betrayed and denied Christ, yet He has shown us mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus is the true and better Joseph. We wait for Him. We wait for His return. We have betrayed Him and He will forgive us. We are famished and He will sustain us. Unlike Joseph’s brothers, we will recognize our Savior at His second coming. We will know His face and we will bow before Him. We wait with hope for that day. Come, Lord Jesus.

written by Billy Jack Brawner

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Joseph"

  1. Howard K says:

    Man can be forgiving if we follow the life of Jesus. It is so hard to be so forgiving as Jesus was for us, but if we can learn this it will bring a kind of peace in our lives.

  2. Howard K says:

    The Gospel is helping every day I read it more and more and I believe God is truly talking to me through the Gospel. I can truly say one night about week ago I heard a voice in my dream and it said come let’s read the Bible or something like that and I am not sure I said it but since it came out of no where in my sleep and woke me up that I was God. Anyways the Gospel is changing my life every day.

  3. Howard K says:

    That God forgives us even when we do such horrible things. We all should realize how blessed we are to have such a forgiving God because if He did not give up His only Son for us I believe we all would be in a much different world today…

  4. Howard K says:

    To be a more forgiving man. It is so hard to always turn the other cheek but I think if I did this more and humbled myself and be more honest my life will be more peaceful in times of all the turmoil I am facing.

  5. Howard K says:

    Thank you God for this lesson today and help me to have the strength that you gave your Son to forgive people. Your Son endured so much than I will ever so at least I can try to be more like Jesus with your help God.

  6. Kenny Clark says:

    Without God’s help, we don’t know rescue when we see it. The pattern throughout Scripture of God sending rescuers and those needing rescue rejecting and abusing the rescuer is very sad and speaks to our depravity. Even now, as a Christian… how often do I reject the very means God is using to sanctify me? He is showing mercy. I grumble and complain and chafe against it.

  7. Kenny Clark says:

    God’s ways are so much higher than ours. His plans are purposeful, complex, and right. Ordaining suffering – great suffering – does not nullify his grace and mercy. In fact, we’re shown that in his gracious and sovereign hands, suffering is a tool He uses to give more grace.

  8. Kenny Clark says:

    The gospel message is “foolishness” to the world, but it is the wisdom of God. The righteous One for the unrighteous ones. God forces Satan to bring the weight of Jesus’ foot down on his own head at the cross. He makes death slit its own throat. “By weakness and defeat He won the glorious crown; trod all His foes beneath His feet by being trodden down.”

  9. Mike says:

    He has always had a plan for redemption because he loves us.

  10. Mike says:

    I will forgive as Joseph forgave his brothers.

  11. Mike says:

    The Gospel story of love and forgiveness rings out in the story of Joseph.

  12. Mike says:

    We are all like Joseph’s brothers we have all sinned and fallen short but God forgives us through belief in his Son Jesus.

  13. Mike says:

    Lord help me to have a loving and forgiving spirit even when I have been wronged.

  14. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Praise God for His sovereignty and how He knew that I am a wretched sinner, yet makes me new through His son.

  15. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    He sent Jesus to be the one to save us from our helplessness like Joseph did his brothers.

  16. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    We are helpless and selfish: needing help, but wanting to please ourselves at the same time (i.e., Judas and the brothers of Joseph).

  17. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Jesus came to provide the saving that our souls desperately need and give us life abundantly and eternally.

  18. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Father, teach me to wait patiently for You and to desire You with everything that I have. May you be my treasure that I would never sell away.

  19. Taylor Homeyer says:

    Wow! This lesson further shows how deeper the message of the gospel is ingrained in the Bible from start to finish.

  20. Jonathan Newman says:

    What man and Satan meant for evil in the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus, God meant for good, that many might be saved through him.

  21. Jonathan Newman says:

    God’s purpose in the lives of OT figures was to show different signposts to the need for Jesus, and he beautifully and amazingly paralleled many of these stories’ inadequacies of humanity with the perfect fulfillment of Jesus.

  22. Jonathan Newman says:

    We have all betrayed and denied God’s lordship and goodness by turning our backs on him. It is innate in our nature we inherited from Adam and Eve.

  23. Jonathan Newman says:

    Looking at all OT figures as signposts to Jesus, realizing that I am included in those who were enemies of God but was shown mercy, and thanking God and showing mercy and forgiveness to others.

  24. Bill Wilson says:

    The Gospel, God’s plan of salvation, has been consistent since the time of Joseph and overcomes all obstacles because it’s directed by God Himself. We are no better than Joseph’s brothers who threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery, and just like they were eventually forgiven and redeemed, so are we through Jesus. In fact, the brother who suggested Joseph be sold was Judah, from whom Jesus would directly descend.

  25. Bill Wilson says:

    God has a plan that He’s been working out since the beginning of creation – a plan of redemption that is demonstrated many times in the Old Testament and very plainly in the life of Joseph. He orchestrates events in our lives, not only as teaching experiences for us but also to show us and others His sovereignty so that we worship Him.
    Through Joseph’s life, God also shows us many times that he can use bad situations, the sin of others & the world, famines, and evil rulers/nations to accomplish His purposes for His children if we remain faithful to Him.

  26. Bill Wilson says:

    Man’s sin is no match for the plan of God. Man is evil, but God’s intention for those who love Him is always for their good.

  27. Bill Wilson says:

    Rejoice in the message of the Gospel and really dwell on the implications. Don’t be afraid to be consumed by a joy and passion for God. Praise Him for daily rescuing us from our rebellion.

  28. Bill Wilson says:

    Lord, thank you for working things out according to your perfect plan and for loving us so completely. You have remained faithful to the covenant with your people since the time of Abraham. Help me to remain faithful and live my life preparing for your return.

  29. Matthew Johnston says:

    We are deceptive, evil, betrayers. Yet, God loves us.

  30. Matthew Johnston says:

    It was God’s plan from the beginning.

  31. Matthew Johnston says:

    God is a great preserver of life. He turns around evil for good.

  32. Matthew Johnston says:

    I will marvel at the cross, and be amazed at how much good could come out of such evil and betrayal.

  33. Matthew Johnston says:

    Lord God, thank you for Your unending love and your eternal plan. Forgive me for betraying you by seeking things others than you. Forgive me for wanting to be the hero in the story, rather than looking to Christ as my hero. Thank you for transforming what seemed only destined for evil and making good come of it.

  34. Josh Burns says:

    God saves me in my filth. While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.

  35. Josh Burns says:

    Man is depraved and sinful, but God is perfect and loving.

  36. Josh Burns says:

    By living my life today in light of the Gospel. Loving the Lord with my thoughts, words, and actions. God give me grace when I am frustrated. Remind me what you have called me to, and the reason I am doing this work.

  37. Josh Burns says:

    He is all-loving. Even though I have betrayed him and denied him, he continues to love me.

  38. Josh Burns says:

    God give me grace today in my weakness. When I slip or fall, thank you for your love that is right there to pick me back up. Make me a man of love and grace today. Make me a man that is decisive today. Give me wisdom to make wise decisions, but also timely decisions.

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