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Joseph and Jesus Christ

The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him.
—Acts 7:9

As we look at the life of Joseph in the Old Testament, we can’t help but notice the striking similarities between the lives of Joseph and Jesus Christ. Today we will look at four similarities between Joseph and Jesus.

First, both were favored sons. Just as Jacob favored his son Joseph, so God favored His Son, Jesus Christ. During His baptism, remember what God said about Jesus? He said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

Second, both were despised brothers. Joseph was hated by his eleven brothers. And the Bible tells us that Jesus’ brothers, the Jews, hated him. Even Pontius Pilate realized that it was because of the Jews’ envy that they delivered up Jesus to be crucified (Matthew 27:18).

Third, both were humiliated leaders. Genesis 37:23 says that when the brothers saw Joseph, they stripped him of his special coat. Jesus Christ, the eternal coregent with God the Father, willingly stripped off His heavenly robe and came to earth. He lived a humble life and died an excruciating death. He allowed His tormentors to put a crown of thorns on His head for one reason: that He might take away the sting of our sin.

Fourth, both were resurrected rulers. Put yourself in Joseph’s place for just a moment. You are in a pit, left for dead. Now remember, Joseph didn’t know how his story was going to turn out. As far as he knew, his life was over. He was separated from his father and betrayed by his brothers. But I think probably the overriding emotion Joseph had in that pit was feeling forsaken by God. Did you know Jesus Christ felt those same feelings of being forsaken by God? Jesus hung on the cross on that Good Friday, betrayed by those closest to Him. And on the cross He said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). When you feel that way, you are not alone. When you are in a pit of trials, when you feel like God has abandoned you, know that your feelings are not unique. Joseph felt that way, and even Jesus Christ felt that way.

But the story wasn’t over. Just as God reached down and delivered Joseph out of that pit, so God reached down on the third day and lifted Jesus out of the grave. And the same thing will happen with you. God hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t forsaken you. He has a plan He is working out in your life.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Living a Life That Matters: The Life of Joseph” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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