16 January 2009

Joseph, Jesus, & the New Covenant - 1.16.09

Genesis 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

There's probably no more complete type of Jesus Christ in all the OT than the man who wore the coat of many colors. Joseph, like Jesus, was beloved of his father; sent unto and rejected by his brethren; sold; unjustly accused and condemned; wed to a Gentile bride; made known to His brethren "the second time" (see Acts 7); and the list could go on and on.

But notice the picture in the passage at hand. Joseph claimed he was sent by God down to Egypt for 2 purposes: (1) to preserve for his brethren a posterity (descendants, succeeding generations) in the earth and (2) to save their lives by a great deliverance. And so Jesus Christ was sent by God down to this earth to accomplish the 2 very same purposes.

First, the second. To save your lives by a great deliverance.

Matthew 1:21 …JESUS…shall save his people from their sins 1 John 4:9 …God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world...

Because Jesus Christ came to this earth to do the will of God you and I who are saved have been eternally delivered from sin, death, hell, and the grave. Hallelujah!

As great as that is, there is much more to the first coming of Jesus Christ. Like Joseph He came to preserve you [his brethren] a posterity in the earth.

Let's get a little background on some covenants God has made with the Jewish people.

ABRAHAMIC COVENANT: God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees and promised the great nation He would make from him would FOREVER inherit the land of Palestine.

MOSAIC COVENANT: After being delivered from Egypt's bondage, the Hebrews promised God at Mount Sinai that they would keep His laws. The reward for obedience was peace and prosperity in the land of promise. The curse for rebellion was oppression, famine, and captivity.

In time, the nation of Israel rebelled and the people were driven from the land of promise. But the promise God made to Abraham is eternal and unconditional. The Hebrews will forever dwell in that land. But according to the Mosaic covenant, in order to dwell in that land, they have to live in obedience. So how will the covenant to Abraham ever be fulfilled.

This all leads us to an understanding of what the Jews in Jesus' day missed. There must a SPIRITUAL basis for the physical, political kingdom they looked for the Messiah to establish. In order for God to fulfill the promise He made to Abraham, He had to do something about the promise they made but had failed to keep.

And that's what Jesus did when He came and laid down His life for the sins of the world. He guaranteed the continued and eternal posterity of the nation of Israel by establishing a new covenant. Read it for yourself in Jeremiah 31:31-37

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting in light of what I've been reading in Deuteronomy for the last few weeks - an exhortation from Moses to the people of Israel. I read Deuteronomy 30,31 this morning. There's a lot there! God knew ahead of time and said ahead of time that they would fall away and serve other gods and that He would bring judgement on them, but that He would restore them! Praise God for His faithfulness to the people of Israel! What an amazing testimony! And for His grace in extending mercy to us!