There are many who say that Joseph and the Passover Lamb are the two clearest pictures in the Old Testament of Christ, and I would agree with them.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.
The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
Joseph typifies Christ Jesus in many ways, but crucially his story also points to the nation of Israel and God’s dealings with them, and so we will look at both of these aspects.
Joseph as a type of Christ
|1. Joseph was the beloved son of his father, Jacob Genesis 37:3
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…”
|Christ is the beloved Son of the Father
“and suddenly a voice from heaven saying ‘This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”
|2. Joseph was clothed in the coat of many colours signifying his Firstborn rights and inheritance of his father. Genesis 37:3||Christ is the firstborn of the Father, and the Son of His inheritance.
Hebrews Chapter 1; Ephesians 1:18
|3. Joseph was envied by his brothers
“But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him…” Genesis 37:4
|Christ was envied by His brethren, the Jewish Chief Priests and elders. Matthew 27: 12-18
“For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy”
|4. Joseph was betrayed and rejected by his brothers and sold for 20 pieces of silver
|Christ was betrayed and rejected by his brethren and sold for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 13:53-58; Matthew 26:15|
|5. Joseph was not recognized by his brothers, neither early on as he told them his dreams, nor later as the governor of Egypt. Genesis 37:8; Genesis 42:8||Christ was not recognized by His brethren, when he came preaching the Kingdom of heaven to Israel, nor is He recognised now as the risen King of the Jews. Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:7-8|
|6. Joseph was cast into a pit to die by his brothers Genesis 37:24||Christ was crucified on the cross by His brethren, then placed in a tomb Matthew 27:60|
|7. Joseph coming out of the pit, signifying the place of death, back in to life Genesis 37:28||Christ was raised from the dead
Matthew 28:5, 6
|8. Reuben found the pit empty Genesis 37:29||Christ’s brethren find the tomb empty Matthew 28:1-6|
|9. Joseph was sold into slavery Genesis 37:28||Christ took the form of a bond-slave Philippians 2:7|
|10. Joseph is rejected by his brethren and so is sent to the Gentile world, (Egypt) Genesis 37:28||Christ was rejected by Israel and so is sent to the Gentiles Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:25|
|11. Joseph suffered much, becoming a slave, being falsely accused, going to prison Genesis 39 & 40||Christ suffered much at the hands of men, being falsely accused, betrayed and died
Matthew 26 & 27
|12. There is no record of Joseph sinning, even though he was a sinner||Christ never sinned, He is God in human flesh
|13. Joseph had the Spirit of God in him Genesis 41:38 “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”||Christ Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
|14. After a time of suffering, Joseph was exalted to a high position in Egypt by Pharoah
|After Christ’s sufferings God has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name. Philippians 2:5-11|
|15. Joseph was given the Egyptian name of Zaphnath-Paaneah, which means the “Saviour of the World” Genesis 41:45||Christ Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and His name bears witness to that.
“…you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
|16. Joseph was 30 years old when he began his life’s work, after much preparation Genesis 41:46||Christ was 30 years old when He began His ministry, after much preparation.
|17. Joseph was given a Gentile bride by Pharoah at the time of his exaltation Genesis 41:45||Christ is to be given a Gentile bride, the Church when He returns for her.
|18. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah as Zaphnath-Paaneah, to save the world from the coming famine Genesis 41:46||18. Christ Jesus went out from the presence of the Father to save the world from sin
|19. Joseph provided grain/food to the starving masses Genesis 47:13-26||Christ Jesus is the bread of God sent from heaven to feed the world John 6:22-51|
|20. Joseph’s brothers, those bearing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, go through much hardship and suffering before Joseph reveals himself to them Genesis 42- 44||Christ’s brethren the Jews will go through much trial and suffering before they recognize their King, culminating in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
|21. Joseph’s brothers suffering leads them to repentance Genesis 44:18-34||The time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the Great Tribulation is to bring the nation of Israel to national repentance, as the anti-type of the Day of Atonement. Jeremiah 30:7; Romans 11|
|22. Joseph’s outward harshness towards his brothers conceals his inner love and tenderness towards them. Genesis 42- 44 ; Genesis 42:24; Genesis 45:2||God’s heart towards sinners and Israel alike, though He seems to deal with them harshly, is one of love and tenderness, ultimately seeking restoration and reconciliation. Romans 5:8|
|23. Joseph’s brothers are restored and saved
“Moreover he kissed all of his brothers and wept over them…” Genesis 45
|Israel is restored and saved
See further on Joseph as a prophetic picture of the Church here.
If you have any further types of Joseph that I haven’t mentioned, be sure to comment them below.
It’s about Him
And always will be
But not many see
That or care
But it is about His
We want to be set up
But God is setting up His kingdom
We want a name
But His is the Name above all names
We want a throne
But His is the Throne
At which our knee shall bow
Promotion His way is:
More of Christ;
More of Him in us
Less of us,
Christ’s kingdom ENLARGED
Who will see?
For an enlargement of Christ’s kingdom I pray
Much of what is missing in the organized Church today is the work, or move, of the Holy Spirit.
We totally underestimate the Spirit of God and what He can do if we let Him.
We have over- organized and created programs for this and that instead of seeking God and letting Him lead by His Spirit.
God has a will, an opinion, a way but we don’t even recognize that fact anymore.
I often feel like the organized church is a slave mill: keeping people over- busy, working them in to the ground, churning out program after program- and what for? “There is a way that seems right to man but the end of it is death”.
God Himself has a way. It is by His Spirit. It is the centrality of Christ. The Spirit of God when He is working will always point to and exalt Jesus Christ. If Christ is not center, if He’s not there, then it is a work of the flesh. Get rid of it! Stop wasting everyone’s time, repent and seek God’s face.
We often use this scripture “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20) as an evangelistic tool. But it’s not. Jesus said this to the CHURCH in Laodicea. He was outside the church. Pushed outside His own church because He wasn’t needed anymore, “we have a program”!!
Lord have mercy, wake up your church.
So far we have made our way through the Outer Court of the Tabernacle and into the golden fellowship of the Holy Place.
Now as we approach The Veil, illuminated by light of the Golden Candlestick, we feel a sense of awe, even fear. The inwrought Cherubim tower
above us on the four meter high Veil as if to protect the Most Holy Place. On the other side of the Veil is the Ark of the Covenant – where the presence of God, or the Shekinah glory, dwells. The Ark of the Covenant was the throne of God on the earth and it was awesome in its majestic holiness.
But we will see the beauty and divine truths of the Veil too, of how once again it is a picture of God’s precious Son Jesus Christ and His work to remove the separation between God and man.
“Therefore brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the Veil, that is, His flesh.” Hebrews 10:20
The Three Doors of the Tabernacle of Moses
The Tabernacle of Moses contained three doors, one for each area of the Tabernacle:
- The Gate – the entry point into the Outer Court of the Tabernacle
- The Door – the entry point into the Holy Place; and
- The Veil – the entry point into the Holy of Holies
Contrast Between the Door and the Veil
Separation from God
In contrast to the Door as the access point into the Holy Place, the Veil was rather a curtain of exclusion. It was designed to keep anyone from entering the holy presence of God in the Holy of Holies and thus keep sinful man from polluting the Holy presence of God.
“…The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy.” Exodus 26:33
Only once a year on the Day of Atonement could one man, the High Priest, enter the Holy of Holies and not without blood. Therefore even the priests daily ministering unto the Lord within the Holy Place could not access the Most Holy Place through the Veil.
The Veil had inwrought Cherubim on it. Cherubim are not merely angels, they are seen throughout scripture in relation to types of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Cherubim speak to us of the Holiness of God.
It was Cherubim that guarded the Tree of Life with a flaming sword after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
And just as the Cherubim prohibited sinful man accessing the Tree of Life, so too they prohibit entry into the Holiness of God.
The Material of the Veil
“You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, scarlet thread and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim.” Exodus 26:31
The Veil was made of woven blue, purple, scarlet and white fine linen.
Four pillars supported the Veil. These were made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The sockets for the door were made of silver.
Significance of the Materials
God specified the exact materials and proportions to Moses that were to be used in the Tabernacle, in order to convey eternal truths to us:
As Hebrews tells us that the Veil is a picture of Christ’s flesh, we see how the material used details divine truths of Him:
White fine linen- a picture of Christ’s righteousness
Blue – His heavenly nature
Scarlet – His sacrifice
Purple – His Kingly nature
The Four Pillars
Acacia wood overlaid with gold is such a beautiful picture of Christ. The incorruptibility and earthliness of acacia wood signified His incorruptible (sinless) human nature and the gold signified His heavenly divine nature. Both God and Man in the one Person.
Whereas the Door into the Holy Place had five pillars, the Veil was upheld by four pillars.
The four pillars represent the earthly ministry of Christ: when God came to earth in the flesh. The four gospels witness to His earthly ministry. Thus the four gospels uphold the earthly ministry of Jesus, as the four pillars uphold the Veil, “that is His flesh”. (Heb 10:20)
Sockets of Silver
The five pillars upholding the Door were founded in sockets of Brass, however, the four pillars upholding the Veil were in sockets of silver. Brass speaks of judgment, whereas silver speaks of redemption. The silver used to create these sockets would have come from the Israelites redemption money (Numbers 18:15, 16) and so the Veil literally stood in redemption metal.
The Significance of the Veil
The Veil as Separation
Thus we see the Veil’s effectiveness in keeping sinful man separated from a holy God. Sinful man could only enter through the Veil once a year on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of an animal shed as substitutionary atonement for the sin of the High Priest as well as Israel.
If any tried to enter the Most Holy Place by any other means than God’s proscribed way he would be struck down dead immediately.
The Veil as Intercessor (between God and man)
We see it is no trifling matter to approach God in His majestic holiness. We see He is to be approached with awesome reverence, something much of the professing Church is missing nowadays. To approach Him lightly is to make light of the blood of Christ. Just like the substitutionary animal, someone had to die for us to be able to approach the Throne of Grace. And not just anyone, God. God died so that we could approach Him.
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Isaiah 59:16
We see that as the Veil, Christ, as the second person of the Godhead, stands in the gap between Holy God and sinful man. We see that He is the way through to the Most Holy Place, the awesome majesty of God.
It is only through His torn flesh that we can approach God. It is through the blood that He shed on the cross that we can now come before the Throne of Grace.
“ Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh…” Hebrews 10:19, 20
The Veil as a Picture of Jesus Christ
Jesus Himself said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
We must go through the Veil to approach the Father. Remember the Veil stood in redemption metal (silver) and so it is by personal faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross that we are saved. There is no other way in to the Holy of Holies, no other door, no other Veil.
It was when Jesus died, and that Veil was torn from top to bottom, that the way was made open for sinful man to be able to enter God’s presence.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom;…” Matthew 27:50, 51
Hallelujah! The separation between God and man is now removed in Christ and we have the privilege of being able to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
What an immeasurable honour that we can approach God now and boldly! That word “boldly” means “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; openly, frankly, i.e without concealment; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance”.
Because of Jesus Christ’s earthly work at the cross we can now approach God as a child approaches his father. We can go with full assurance that in Christ we are acceptable to Him. We will not be rejected because we are no longer sinful in His sight, but we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Christ Jesus is truly our Great High Priest. He stood in the gap for us, He paid the penalty of sin for us and He made the way open for us. Hallelujah to the Lamb!
And birds have nests
But the Son of Man
For His head to rest
What is the cost
To follow Him?
That that too
Will be my lot.
I may be lonely
What is that to Him?
I may be sad
Oh that I may enter into
I see it
My laying down
Of my life
Meant letting go
Of the things others have
And seek after
Sometimes they come to taunt me
In the dark of night
Sometimes they batter on my head
And remind me of what I don’t have
And it’s true
Career: outside the camp
But I have Him: I have Jesus
Not just in word
Or in some banal religious way
But I have Him
I know Him
I join with Him
I follow Him
I love Him
And the Son of Man hath nowhere to lay His head
The Way of the Cross is unyielding
The Way of the Cross is sharp and pointy
The Way of the Cross hurts
The Way of the Cross shatters self
The Way of the Cross breaks open a Way
And this is from where Life springs
The Way of the Cross is death
That leads to Life
Stop resisting the Spirit of God. Why do you kick against the goads? Yield to Him.
He has a better Way.