Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joseph and the Gospel

It's no secret that the story of Joseph in Genesis is one of the earliest and most thorough previews of Christ, but the parallels really are striking.

From the son of the Father who is sent to the brothers who mistreat him and "kill" him to the exaltation/resurrection as the Lord of the land, bestowing life-giving bread on the nations, the basic contours of the gospel are all there. Joseph dies for his brothers and family and ultimately the whole world in order to give them life in the great famine. And in the "resurrection" of Joseph and his ascension to the right hand of Pharaoh, the best land in Egypt is bestowed upon Israel. The ascension of Joseph means that he pours out life and grace and gifts on his people.

This morning in morning prayer we read specifically about the revelation of Joseph to his brothers and their return to their father. While the roles and types shift through the story, the brothers' initial disbelief matches the disciples with Christ very well. Similarly, Jacob plays the part of Thomas upon hearing the news that "he is alive." But when the tokens and gifts of Joseph are shown to him, he believes.

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