Summary: Joseph's life is a model for successful and victorious Christian living
JOSEPH: A MODEL FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
TEXTS: 1 Cor. 10:11 - Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Rom. 15:4 - For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
The Old Testament Scriptures are filled with many clear portraits and types of Jesus. Some of them are:
1. Noah’s Ark – Gen. 6-9.
Jesus is the ark of safety into which sinners can run, to escape the waters of sin and sinful living that seek to drown men and women boys and girls, and drag them down to hell. When we are safely in Him, the true Ark, the waters of sin can never touch us.
2. The Manna – Ex. 16
In John, the 6th chapter Jesus explained to the people and to us that He is the TRUE manna that one can eat and NEVER die. He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I AM the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I AM the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6:47-51).
3. The High Priest; the Tabernacle
Paul the Apostle wrote in the Book of Hebrews, comparing between the Levitical Priesthood and Christ, the eternal High Priest: “But He, (Jesus) because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood…Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Heb. 7:24; 8:1, 2). “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is not of this creation” (Heb. 9:22).
And many, many others could be mentioned, such as the Jewish offerings as types of Christ’s ultimate offering, Aaron’s rod that budded, representing the resurrected Christ, and the fiery serpent that Jehovah instructed Moses to make and put it on a pole, so that everyone who had been bitten by the snakes could look upon and live, that Jesus said portrayed His crucifixion, in John the 3rd chapter.
In fact, if one looks hard enough, Jesus Christ can be found on every page of the Old Testament. In his “The Chemistry of the Blood,” M.R. DeHann said that a scarlet thread, standing for the blood, runs through the entire Bible, and Christ is looking out at us from every page, if we look by faith. Jesus Himself said that that Old Testament is a Book about Him. He said, “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).
Of all the types of Christ found in the Old Testament, however, one seems to stand out above, all the others. It is Joseph, the son of Jacob. When one studies this extraordinary man’s life, many parallels with Jesus begin to appear. Such as:
1. Both were beloved of their Fathers – Gen. 37:3; Matt. 3:17; 17:5
2. Joseph was a shepherd. Christ is the Great Shepherd.
3. Both were hated by their brethren – Gen. 37:4, 8, 11; John 15:25
4. Both were rejected and conspired against – Gen. 37:18-20; Matt. 27:28-36; John 11:53
5. Both were mistreated and delivered up to die – Gen. 37:23-25; Matt. 27:28-36
6. Both were delivered from the pit of their death – Gen. 37:28; Matt. 28:1-6
7. Both were servants – Gen. 39:1-6; Phil. 2:5-7
8. Both were exalted by God – Gen. 41:14; Acts 5:30-31
9. M.R. DeHann writes: “Jesus typified by Joseph was the Father’s well-beloved Son. In the fullness of time. He sent Him into the field of the world to seek His brethren., He found the nation of Israel in the land of Dothan, the land of the law. But they rejected Him, and sold Him for thirty pieces of silver into the hands of the Gentiles.”
There are many more parallels that could be mentioned, but these are sufficient to demonstrate to us that the life of Joseph is a very good picture of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But I’m going to take a little different tack today. Rather than look at Joseph as a type of Christ, I want to look at what happened to Joseph as a type of the journey that Christians take in our pilgrimage from death and sin, to grace and glory, and ultimately to heaven.