In HIS shadow: Joseph and the Gospel
This weekend we begin a new series! It is called “in HIS shadow: Joseph and the Gospel” and I (Andrew) really couldn’t be more excited. Last Sunday night I was able to give a brief preview of the series to our congregation. Here is the script from the preview…we hope you will Join us Sunday Night, November 4th as we walk through Joseph’s life!
“Let me give y’all a little commercial for our upcoming series called…in HIS shadow: Joseph and the Gospel…
Joseph’s story is great…Its about an upright boy who lives with all his brothers who hate him because he is highly favored by his father…Now, I saw a study the other day about how many parents clearly have a favorite child…for the child’s sake I wouldn’t recommend this…In Joseph’s case it almost got him killed because his brothers decided they hated him enough to end his life. However, one brother intervened and they decided to throw him in a pit until they could sell him into slavery.
Now, I am 2 sentences into this story and there are already a ton of illusions to Jesus…This boy is highly favored of his father, blameless, hated by the world, cast into darkness, sold for silver…And that is a big point for us tonight…picturing Jesus is a major theme in the life of Joseph and it is important for us. Too many times we look at stories like this and immediately want to figure out what the moral lesson is. There is plenty of morality in a story like Joseph’s ..but it is really the point? That’s like me teaching my little girl the story of the boy who cried wolf…and then asking her what the point of the story is. What if she said, “Daddy, the whole point of the story is that wolves like to eat sheep!”. I would basically have to say, “child that is very astute…and wolves do like to eat sheep But don’t get lost in the details…the actual point is that we shouldn’t lie”. Seeing morality in these stories is great BUT not if it causes us to miss Jesus!
Back to the story, Joseph doesn’t die…and this is the first time we see God raising him up…and we see he is favored by not only Jacob, but God also as he is promoted over and over and over. He lands in a wealthy man’s house and is quickly given charge over all the affairs. But through false allegations of an affair he lands in prison and is then promoted to rule over the prison. Finally he is given the opportunity to interpret a dream for Pharaoh and is promoted to rule over all of Egypt.
Then as God would have it (and this is where the story just as a piece of literature becomes gripping), his brothers end up being sent by their father into Egypt looking for food and they are brought to Joseph who they don’t recognize…but he knows them. Then through a couple chapters of total literary beauty, the story culminates in Joseph revealing who he actually is. He then repays their evil with Grace and declares, “God has meant all of this for good…”
Now maybe I should have given you a spoiler alert! You are saying, “hey man you gave us all the best parts of the show!” Well, the reason that’s ok is because the beauty of our next series is not about what happens so much as what it points to. This is the beauty of the Bible. The Bible is not primarily a rulebook for life but a search for a savior…Its Hansel and Gretel…every story contains the breadcrumbs that ultimately point us to the man, the TRUE Joseph who not only saves his brothers though they sold him, but saves humanity though we killed him.
Joseph is an example AND a for-shadowing of the savior who would come freeing us from sin and giving us the ability to live the example we see.”
I sincerely hope you will join us as we begin this new series on November 4th, at Bur-mil Park in Greensboro, at 6pm!