Joseph by Jorge Parrott
There are many parallels between the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus. In fact, there is more written about Joseph than Abraham, Moses, or Isaac, in Genesis 1-11. What is God saying to us about the life of this man whose own brothers had plotted to kill and sold him into slavery? From the pit to the prison to the palace Joseph shows us a life of integrity, character, and a servant's heart. We see the spiritual growth from a young man excited about a dream and sharing it in the wrong timing, to a humble, kingly priest offering the love of the Father to those who had scorned him. Joseph never allowed bitterness to take root and that is such a valuable lesson to all believers.
Philippians 3:10 speaks about “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death...” Joseph had many opportunities to question God, and he may have, but in his actions and in his heart he never faltered in his character. This illustrates vividly how God desires us to live. It also shows us clearly the desire of the Lord for our lives, when challenges come, and they will come, to keep our eyes and our hearts focused on being Christ-like and having a heart molded by the character of God.
Joseph's life echoes the life of Christ in so many ways. In Genesis 37:28, Joseph was taken into Egypt and in Matthew 2:14-15, Mary, mother of Jesus, and her husband, Joseph, took the young Jesus down to Egypt. Joseph was tempted by Potiphar's wife in Genesis 39 and Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by satan in Matthew 4. In Psalm 105:17-18 we read, “even, Joseph, who was sold for a servant; whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron.” Then, we read in Matthew 20:18-19 “Behold, we go to Jerusalem; and the son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death...”
The parallels are many and they are striking in their passionate revealing of the life of sufferings being rewarded. In mysterious ways, we see how the Lord uses the tribulations, and the 'violence', persecution and hardship in a believer's life as opportunities to grow and be trusted with the “greater rewards”.
As we are found trustworthy in the small things our Father trusts us with greater things, “working all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes.” Does it not remind one of the verse in Genesis 50:19-20? “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
” Oh, to be in the place of God!
The tenderness of the love and mercy of the Lord exude from Joseph in many incidences. In Genesis 45:5 we are shown this pathway of righteousness. Vs. 5, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Joseph, like the Lord, absolved them of their grief and of their guilt. So too, Jesus has made a way for us to be free from our past, our guilt, and our grief. Joseph is a living example of the 'joy of the Lord, is our strength.” He is the prime Biblical embodiment of reconciliation and restoration, just as Jesus, our Lord, came to save us and heal us and deliver us from all bondage.
Because Joseph was time and again found faithful and trustworthy, the Lord elevated him and promoted him and showed him great favor, all due to Joseph's purity and integrity. In times of famine, even a pharoah sent them to see Joseph, the keeper of the storehouse.
When we move from our revelation of our desperate need of our 'heavenly Joseph', in Genesis 45:3-4, which is Jesus, and we have realized we are utterly and hopelessly lost without a rescuing savior, then we can begin to enter into the revelation of his resources in Heaven as unveiled in 45:9-23 and the brothers, who at one time tried to kill Joseph, now experience his compassion and receive his communion. Finally, the brothers witness Joseph's glorious reunion with his father, Jacob. Here, we see the perfect picture of Father God's plan of reconciliation and restoration and provision and forgiveness of sin and guilt, cleansed from all the dirtiness and condemnation of this world, to walk in the light of the kingdom of God released on earth. So, too, can we walk in that realization and freedom in the Spirit during our days on earth and show others that there is 'a way of escape', through our 'heavenly Joseph', Jesus, of Nazareth.