Joseph Foreshadowing Jesus

This sermon – Joseph Foreshadowing Jesus – was originally preached 2014.01.26 by Dan Freed.

Joseph Foreshadowing Jesus

A shadow is not “the real thing” it is rather an appearance, something that mirrors the real thing.

Colossians 2:16-19

It is fascinating to look for Jesus as we read the Old Testament. The greatest class ever taught about “types and shadows” was taught by Jesus himself. This class took place on the Emmaus road.

Luke 24:13-35

Jesus started with Moses and all of the Old Testament prophets and taught them all things concerning himself. It must have been fascinating to hear Jesus teach these things.

Joseph Suffered – Jesus Suffered

Genesis 37:1-36

Joseph knew that going to see his brothers wasn’t going to be a “walk in the park.” His father asked him to go though, and so he went. Jesus did likewise, responding to the desire of his Father, He came to earth as a human.

Things didn’t get easier for Joseph. He was sold into slavery. Not only did he eventually lose his job because of his faithfulness to God, he was thrown into prison.

Jesus was the true and faithful witness. Jesus spoke the truth about himself and about sin and about his father.

Stephen, in the New Testament, reminds us that God was with Joseph. All throughout his life. As a child. As a slave. As a prisoner. As a leader.

At last Joseph was remembered, when the king wanted to know the meaning to his dreams. Joseph went from the prison to the palace. It was his job to plan and store for the seven years of famine that were coming.

Joseph Forgave – Jesus Forgave

Genesis 45:1-15

Joseph didn’t hold the evil that his brothers did against him against them. Joseph had a real chance to “pay them back,” to render justice towards them. He chose to forgive them.

When Jacob died Josephs brothers still hadn’t forgiven themselves. They figured that since there father had died Joseph would probably get back at them.

Genesis 5:15-17

Joseph received the message that they sent to him by weeping. Joseph told his brothers to “not be afraid.” He saw the bigger picture, God meant all of it for good.

Jesus, when he was dying on the cross prayed, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” Who was he praying for? It was for all of them and all of us. Our sins were the reason that he was there.

Joseph is a reminder of the forgiveness that we can receive from God. It is also a reminder of how he longs for us to continually forgive those who do evil against us.

Joseph was Fruitful – Jesus was Fruitful

Genesis 49:22-26

This was just before Jacob died. He summarized each of his 12 sons. He speaks about Joseph’s life and says that it was very fruitful.

Jesus is everything that we need. Joseph had what the people who were starving needed. He had food. Jesus provides us with the bread of life, forgiveness and hope for the future.


We have an opportunity and obligation to point those around us to Jesus.

  • Let us suffer as Joseph and Jesus suffered – faithfully
  • Let us forgive as Joseph and Jesus forgave – quick to forgive
  • Let us be fruitful as Joseph and Jesus were fruitful – abiding in Christ