Friday, January 13, 2017

Christ in the Old Testament

Gen 45:4  So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5  And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life…
Gen 45:9  Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry.
Gen 45:10  You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
Gen 45:11  There I will provide for you.

The account of Joseph is one of the clearest accounts of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the OT; albeit through typology.  Let me point out just a few in this article.

Verses 4 and 5 above remind us that Joseph got to the position of second to Pharaoh by being betrayed by his brothers.  Similarly we read in John 1 that “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”  But it was through his mistreatment by crucifixion that he becomes our Savior and King just like Joseph becomes for his family.  Through his wisdom and faithfulness he is exalted to the right hand of the King of Egypt where he secures food (life) for a world that is starving.  This work of Christ is what Paul is referring to in Php 2:8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Php 2:9  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.

Before his brothers can enter into this kingdom and be reunited with their brother they have to face their sin of betrayal.  (Betrayal is a good way to understand what happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam fell).  So there are roughly three chapters where Joseph works on them until they have faced their sin and demonstrate that they are not the men they used to be.  Once they have proven this, and not until, Joseph reveals himself to them and there is a restoration of fellowship. 

While all this is going on Joseph keeps returning their money to them.  I see this as a reminder that salvation is all of grace and there is nothing we have that God needs and so it only insults him when we try to earn his grace. 

Finally his brothers are told to go back home and proclaim the good news.  Basically they say, “Joseph is not dead but he lives and not only that but he reigns and invites us to come into his kingdom and he will provide for us beyond our wildest dreams!”  But the first benefit is that they will be near Joseph, vs. 10.  What primarily causes Jacob to go to Egypt was that Joseph was there and Heaven is where Jesus is and that will be what makes Heaven, Heaven. 

It is the gospel in a nut shell.  Behold, today is the day of salvation, do not tarry.  The One we sinned against has gained the victory over the death that hangs over us.  Do not tarry but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.  Hasten to him and you will be near him and he shall be your God and you will be his child and there will be peace and fellowship and he will provide for us eternally.

1 comment:

  1. Nathan,
    Well said.
    I would add these verses as well:

    40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

    43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.

    46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt.