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JOSEPH: THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD
Intro: Last week we took some time to consider Joseph’s Gentile bride, Asenath. We saw how she was a type of the Bride of Christ. It thrilled my heart to study how she was raised up out of obscurity and married to Joseph.
Today, I want to take a closer look at Joseph. I told you at the beginning of this series that there are over 100 areas of Joseph’s life where he pictures the Lord Jesus Christ. As the Lord gives liberty today, I want to take just three areas of Joseph’s life and I want to show you how He paints a picture of the Lord Jesus.
I want to consider Joseph’s humiliation, his exaltation and his salvation. As I move through these thoughts, I want you to get a fresh glimpse of the Lord today. Let the life of Joseph remind you of Who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
Let’s look at Joseph today. I want to share some thoughts from the Word of God as I preach on Joseph: The Savior Of The World.
I. JOSEPH AND HIS HUMILIATION
· He Laid Aside His Glory Gen. 37:23 That coat represented Josephs place in the family. It told everyone that he was his fathers favorite son and that he was the head of the family. The coat represented Josephs glory. That glory was laid aside for a time of humiliation.
Like Joseph, Jesus also laid aside His glory to enter a time of humiliation, Phil. 2:5-7; Isa. 53:1-3. He Son of God left His home in Heaven above to enter this world as a little baby. The Creator became dependent upon His creation! The glorious God of the universe because a man and walked among men! While He was here, He willingly laid aside His glory. His glory was manifested in many ways while He was here, but it was visible only one time, Matt. 17:1-8.
· He Became A Slave Gen. 37:28; 36; 39:1-3 Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave. He went down to Egypt and served in Potiphars house.
The Lord Jesus also entered this world as a slave, Phil. 2:7. He did not come to this world to occupy the throne of a crown prince. He came to this world to serve humanity and to give His life a ransom for sinners, Matt. 20:28.
· He Overcame Temptation Gen. 39:7-12 Potiphars wife tried to seduce Joseph to commit adultery with her. He steadfastly refused and maintained his integrity.
Jesus also weathered a great storm of temptation for us, Matt. 4:1-11. His temptation was not to prove that He would not sin, but to prove that He could not sin! Jesus came into this world as the spotless Lamb of God. He was, and still is, absolutely sinless, 1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15; 1 John 3:5.
· He Was Successful In All He Did Gen. 39:3-6; 21-23 Joseph was blessed greatly by the Lord and God used him in a special way. Regardless of where he found himself, the Lord caused him to prosper.
The same is true of the Lord Jesus. He was successful in everything He did. Those who saw Him minister said of Him, “He hath done all things well,” Mark 7:37.
He never failed in any task He was given. He healed every sickness He encountered. He cast out every demon He was faced with. He raised every dead person He came into contact with. He calmed every storm He was ever in. He saved every lost soul that would believe on Him. And, in His dying breath, He was able to declare, “It is finished, John 19:30.
· He Was Falsely Accused Gen. 39:14-19 Potiphars wife made false accusations against Joseph that resulted in him being thrown into prison. He was innocent, yet he was punished.
Jesus was also falsely accused. They could find no fault with Him, so they found men who were willing to lie in order to convict Him, Matt. 26:59-61. They accused Him of blasphemy, Matt. 26:63-68. He was guilty of no crime, yet they sentenced Him to death!
· He Offered No Defense Gen. 39 As far as we know, Joseph never opened his mouth in his own defense. He took the punishment that was placed upon him without comment.
Again, Joseph is a portrait of the Lord Jesus. When He was accused by the Sanhedrin, He offered no defense, Matt. 26:62-63. When He went before Pontius Pilate, He offered no defense, John 19:9-11. When He appeared before Herod, He offered no defense, Luke 23:8-12. Even as He went to the cross to die for sin, He maintained His silence, Isa. 53:7.
He could have freed Himself at any time. After all, He is the Creator of the universe. He could have called legions of angels to come to His defense, Matt. 26:53. He could have spoken the word and His tormentors would have been swallowed up alive by the earth and sent to Hell. But, He willingly endured the cross and the shame because it was His Father’s will!
· He Suffered As An Innocent Man Gen. 39 We have already covered this, but Joseph was falsely accused, unjustly condemned and wrongly imprisoned. He suffered all those years of isolation in prison as an innocent man.
Again, there is a parallel with the Lord Jesus. He was not a sinner and He was not a criminal. He did not deserve to go to the cross to die. He was absolutely innocent. Yet, He willingly took our place on that cross and died for us, the innocent for the guilty, that we might go free, 2 Cor. 5:21.
That was my beating. That was my humiliation. That was my crown of thorns. That was cross. That was my punishment. That was my death. He did it all for me! If Jesus was guilty of anything, He was guilty of loving sinners! He was guilty of loving me! His love for me placed Him on the cross and kept Him there until the price was paid, Rom. 5:6-9.
II. JOSEPH AND HIS EXALTATION
· He Was Brought Out Of Prison Gen. 41:14 Joseph was eventually released from his prison and was brought before Pharaoh.
Jesus was imprisoned by death and His body was sealed in a tomb, but three days later, Jesus arose from the dead, Matt. 28:1-6. He came out of that prison and He is alive forevermore, Rev. 1:18. Because He lives, our salvation is guaranteed and our eternal life is secured, Rom. 5:10.
· He Was Exalted Gen. 41:37-42 Joseph is elevated to the position of Prime Minister. No one in the kingdom, besides Pharaoh himself, was greater than Joseph. Joseph was given Pharaohs ring, which was a symbol of authority and power. He was given a gold chain that spoke of his new wealth. He was clothed in fine linen, which signified that his work as a servant was over forever!
Jesus has also been exalted. His Father has exalted Jesus, Phil 2:9. The word “exalted means to elevate to the highest rank and power, to raise to supreme majesty. God has magnified Jesus to the place where there in no one greater than Him in the universe! The angels of Heaven exalt Him, Rev. 4:4-11; 5:11-12. The saints in glory exalt Him, Rev. 5:9; 7:9-10; 22:3. He is worthy to be exalted right now, Heb. 13:5; Psa. 47:1; Psa. 135:1-3.
Like Joseph, Jesus possesses “all power in heaven and in earth, Matt. 28:18. He possesses all the wealth of His Father, John 3:35. When Jesus was resurrected, He arose with a glorified body. (Ill. All He was able to do!)
· He Was Enthroned Gen. 41:41 Joseph was given the throne of another. He was allowed to rule by the decree of Pharaoh.
Jesus was also enthroned and allowed to sit with His Father in His throne, Rev. 3:21. The Lord Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father today, Heb. 1:3; 10:12; 1 Pet. 3:22.
· He Was Given A New Name Gen. 41:45 Joseph was given a new name by Pharaoh. This was common for foreigners in those days. The name Joseph was given, Zaphnathpaaneah, can have several meanings. Scholars differ on what the name actually means. It can mean, “The Savior of the world; The Revealer of secrets; God speaks and came into being; Abundance of life; or God’s word speaking life. All of these names fit the new life Joseph was given by Pharaoh. When people heard this name, they fell on their faces and honored Joseph, Gen. 41:43.
Of course, these names also speak of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are told in Phil. 2:9-11 that God has given Jesus a name that is above every other name. At the very mentioned of that name, knees are to bow and tongues are to confess that He is Lord!
All the possible meanings of Joseph’s name have application to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is “The Savior Of The World, Matt. 1:21; John 14:6. He is “The Revealer Of Secrets, Heb. 4:12. He is “God Speaks And Came Into Existence, John 1:1. He is “The Abundance Of Life, John 10:10; John 1:4; John 6:33. He is “God’s Word Speaking Life, John 5:24.
· He Was Given A Gentile Bride Gen. 41:45 This bride was chosen for Joseph and given to him after his exaltation.
The Bride of Christ has been chosen by the Father, Eph. 1:4, and she has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ, John 6:37.
· He Was Given All Authority In The Land Gen. 41:40-44 Joseph was given the authority to run the country as he saw fit. He was the ruler.
The Lord Jesus has been given all power by His Father, Matt. 28:18. He possesses the power to save, John 6:37. He also possesses the power to judge those who reject Him, John 5:22; Rev. 20:11-15. He also possesses the power to comfort those who are burdened, Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15.
· He Intervened In The Lives Of The People Gen. 41:48-57 Joseph took control of the crops of Egypt. Every person in the country felt the power of his touch.
The Lord Jesus is intimately involved in the lives of His people. He intercedes for them in Heaven, Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34. He meets their needs day by day, Matt. 6:25-34; Phil. 4:19. He is ever-present with His people, Heb. 13:5. He is involved in our lives in thousands of ways that we will never comprehend in this life.
III. JOSEPH AND HIS SALVATION
· His Exaltation Was Followed By A Time Of Plenty Gen. 41:47 Just as Joseph had prophesied, the earth brought forth in abundance for seven years. It was an age of plenty for the people of Israel.
Following the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead, the world entered the age of grace. We are living in a time of spiritual plenty today. The Lord is blessing and saving souls and He has been for nearly 2,000 years. The Spirit of the Lord is working. The Bible is available. The church is active and free to declare the message of the Lord. We have been blessed by the Lord in a great way because He allowed us to be born during this special time!
· His Exaltation Was Followed By A Time Of Famine Gen. 41:53-54 The years of plenty were followed by seven years of famine.
When the age of grace ends with the Rapture of the Church, the world will be plunged into a time of great spiritual famine. We call that time the Great Tribulation. The church, as we know it, will be removed from the earth. The Word of God will not be preached as it is today. The Holy Spirit will also be missing from the world. It will be a time of spiritual apostasy and spiritual famine. If you are not a believer, you should come to the Lord today and you should be saved!
· He Controlled The Distribution Of All The Bread Gen. 41:55 When the people became hungry and cried out to Pharaoh, he sent them to Joseph. Only Joseph could give them the bread they needed. He was the source of life for all the people, both in Egypt and around the world.
Like Joseph, Jesus is the only Savior! If you need the Bread of Life, you have to go to Him, for He alone is the Bread of Life, John 6:35. The only way to be saved is to get to Jesus by faith and be born again! God only knows one way of salvation and His name is Jesus, Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31.
· He Possessed Enough Bread For All Who Came Gen. 41:54 Josephs plan was able to provide sufficient bread for every hungry person who came to him for food.
Jesus possesses the power to provide salvation to all who will come to Him by faith, John 3:16; Rev. 22:17. Ill. Jesus invites “any man to come to Him, John 7:37; John 10:9. No one will ever come to Jesus and find Him insufficient to save!
· He Remained In Pharaoh’s Favor Gen. 41:55 Even after seven years, Pharaoh was still confident that Joseph was the man to run the country.
After 2,000 years, God has still not changed His mind about Jesus. As I said, God only knows on Person Who can save, 1 Cor. 3:11; 1 Tim. 2:5-6. If you ever plan to go to Heaven, you will have to come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only Way into God’s salvation!
Conc: It doesn’t matter whether or not you know a thing about Joseph. But, it does matter what you know about Jesus Christ. What you know about Jesus will determine where you will spend eternity.
If you have never trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I invite you to do that right now. If you are saved, I invite you to come before Him and offer Him the thanksgiving and praise He deserves. If He has spoken to your heart today, please listen to His voice and come.