As we look further into the parallels between the lives of Joseph and Jesus, I am continually amazed at how Joseph maintains his faith and trust in God. Unlike Jesus, who knew how the events of His earthly life would unfold, Joseph simply trusted God and faithfully served, no matter his circumstances. How different would our own lives be if we adopted and lived with the same faith and trust that Joseph did?
In Genesis 39:17-20 we read how Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph – 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
Likewise, Jesus was also falsely accused by many people as we read in Mark 14:55-64 – 55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64“You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death.
After being put into prison, Joseph finds himself in the company of two prisoners from the King’s court. The King’s former cupbearer and baker are with him. Both men have dreams in which Joseph interprets for them. For the cupbearer, his dream is a foreshadowing that in 3 days he will be granted new life and restored into the King’s court. The baker did not receive such a positive interpretation of his dream has Joseph revealed to him, that in 3 days he would experience ultimate separation and be killed by having his head removed from the rest of his body.
And obviously, we can now draw a connection between these two men and the two criminals that were also to be put to death by the cross with Jesus. To be honest with you, I had never made the connection until this study. In Luke 23:39-43 were told – 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Here we have such a great picture of a true salvation experience. Two men, both of whom are guilty and facing just consequences, one accepts Jesus for who He is and makes his plea for Jesus to remember him while the other mockingly asks to be saved but with no remorse or real acknowledgement of who Christ is. The one is saved and promised to be in paradise and reunited with Jesus. The other faces ultimate separation from God.
In closing this segment of parallels, I want to remind you that both Joseph and Jesus are being punished although neither were guilty of any wrong doing. They fulfilled their punishment before being exalted…..more on that next time we look at the parallels between Joseph and Jesus.
Peace and thanks for reading!