Joseph provided foreshadowing of Christ
Spiritual Spinach

Joseph provided foreshadowing of Christ

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They call it foreshadowing.

In the Bible, it’s something God uses to show his people what lies ahead. We see prophesies foreshadowing times to come.

We see people who provided a foreshadowing of Jesus the Messiah.

I didn’t think much about that until reading “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn and “From Dream to Destiny” by Robert Morris.*

Both talk about a man named Joseph in the Old Testament. His story is found in the book of Genesis.

Joseph is the son of Jacob and the beautiful Rachel — the favorite of his four wives.

No, I don’t think it was a good idea to have four wives either, and the Bible shows how much contention it causes among the women and their children.

Joseph’s 11 brothers hate him, because he’s daddy’s favorite son. Daddy even gives Joseph a colorful coat.

To make matters worse, Joseph tells his brothers about his nighttime dreams, which basically indicate they’ll be bowing down to him one day.

Joseph is 17 years old when his dad sends him out to his brothers, who are taking care of the family’s sheep.

When they see this kid — decked out in his coat — they plot to kill him. In the end, they strip him of his coat and throw him in a waterless pit to die. They later pull him from the pit and sell him as a slave for 20 pieces of silver.

They kill an animal and put its blood on the coat, which they take to their dad — letting him think a wild beast has killed Joseph.

Meanwhile, Joseph is sold to an Egyptian man, named Potiphar, and later put in charge of the household.

But Potiphar’s wife has her eye on the handsome Joseph, who daily avoids her advances. One day, he even flees, leaving his cloak behind, which she uses to frame him.

She falsely accuses Joseph of attacking her and he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Joseph is in prison for a while when he correctly interprets two other inmates’ dreams.

One prisoner is executed. The other goes back to his job serving the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.

Before the inmate returns to his old job, Joseph asks him to tell the king about how he was falsely imprisoned.

The former inmate forgets.

Two years later, the Pharaoh has some disturbing dreams, which he wants interpreted. The former inmate remembers Joseph’s dream-interpreting ability.

Joseph is sent to the king and — only with God’s help — interprets the dreams, which forecast seven years of plentiful harvests followed by seven of famine. Joseph recommends storing grain from the good years so they’ll be able to eat during the bad ones.

The king puts Joseph in charge of the biggest grain storage project in ancient times.

Eventually, Joseph’s brothers come seeking grain, but don’t recognize their little brother — now all grown up.

Joseph tests his brothers, even saying he’ll make the youngest, Benjamin, a slave after he’s falsely accused of stealing Joseph’s cup.

That’s when Joseph’s brother, Judah, offers to become a slave in Benjamin’s place.

And Joseph realizes his wayward brothers have changed.

There’s so much more to the story and I recommend you read it for yourself — even if you’ve read it before — because every time we read the Bible we can see something new.

Personally, I never realized how many similarities exist between Joseph and Jesus.

Cahn points out that Joseph was his father’s beloved son.

Jesus is the beloved son of our Heavenly Father.

Joseph’s dad sent him on a mission to find his brothers. He was rejected and conspired against.

God sent Jesus on a mission, too, and his enemies conspired to kill him.

Morris notes how Joseph was stripped of his colorful coat.

Roman soldiers stripped Jesus of his robe.

Joseph was thrown into a pit, before being pulled out.

Jesus was put in a tomb, before being resurrected.

Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver.

Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver, but Morris says the slave traders made a profit off of Joseph.

In Joseph’s day, it cost 30 pieces of silver to buy a slave.

So history would indicate that Joseph basically was sold for 30 pieces as well, Morris says.

Both Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused and suffered for the sins of others.

And if you think these comparisons are interesting, wait until you read this:

Joseph was with the criminals in prison.

One was executed. The other was set free.

Jesus was crucified between two criminals.

One just hurled insults at Christ.

But the other asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom. That criminal received forgiveness and eternal life.

Now, there is a place where Joseph and Christ’s stories are different.

Remember how the former inmate forgot about Joseph?

Our Lord doesn’t forget about us.

“Even if other people don’t keep their word, even if other people forget you, God never will,” Morris writes. “God will always keep His word, and He will remember you.”

Many times when we’re in a pit, we focus on our circumstances instead of God’s faithfulness.

But God didn’t leave Joseph or Jesus in a pit and he won’t leave us in our pits either, Morris says.

Jesus died to deliver us from every pit and so we might have life.

“Receive what Jesus did for you,” Morris says. “He came to deliver you and bring you back to the Father.”

I love another comparison that Cahn finds between Joseph and Jesus.

Joseph became a redeemer in Egypt — and saved an entire nation from death.

Jesus became the Savior of the world.

May I provide my own comparison?

Joseph forgave his brothers, saying: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

When he was on the cross, Jesus asked our Heavenly Father to forgive those who were crucifying him.

Our Lord continues to forgive us.

I’m grateful for Joseph and his story of forgiveness.

And I’m indebted to Christ who demonstrates grace and forgiveness like no one else.

* “The Book of Mysteries,” Jonathan Cahn, 2018 copyright, FrontLine; “From Dream to Destiny—The Ten Tests You Must Go Through to Fulfill God’s Purpose for Your Life,” Robert Morris, 2005 copyright, Regal Books.

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She writes a weekly spiritual column.

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She writes a weekly spiritual column.

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