Jesus in the Joseph narrative

29 Jun

There are so many aspects of the life of Joseph that foreshadow the life of Jesus Christ as a type, or scarlet thread.

In chapter 37, we see that both Joseph and Jesus had an exceptional birth (30:22/ Isa. 7:14, Lu. 1:27,34,35). He was born to Jacob when he was old, like a root out of dry ground (37:3). Jesus was born of obscurity, like a root out of dry ground (Isa. 53:2). They both foresaw their exalted position (37:5-9/Matt. 24:30,31). The first dream related to exaltation on earth, the second in heaven (37:6-10). Jesus dominion will be over heaven and earth (Phil. 2:9-11). His brothers rejected his claim to pre-eminence (37:8/John 7:5, Lu. 19:14). Joseph and Jesus were both beloved of their father (Gen. 37:3/ Matt. 3:17), They were shepherds of their father’s sheep (37:2/ John 10:11,27). He was given a special robe that represented who he was (37:3/Matt. 27:28) He brought back a bad report of his brothers (37:2). Jesus testified that people hated Him (John 15:18). Both were sent on a mission to his brothers (37:13,14/John 3:16, 17, 5:37, 6:39, 8:29, 17:25, 20:21, Heb. 2:11). He willingly obeyed his father (37:13/Heb. 10:9). He left his father’s home of comfort (37:13/2 Cor. 8:9, Phil. 2:5-7). Joseph sought and found his brothers (37:16,17). Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Lu. 15:4-7, 19:10, John 6:37,39, 10:11). Joseph was thought to be a dreamer (37:19). Jesus was thought to be mad by His brothers (Mk. 3:21). They thought they could prevent his exaltation by killing him, but it would be the means of his exaltation (37:19,20, 42:6, 1 Cor. 2:8, Col. 2:15). Both Joseph and Jesus were envied, hated by their brothers, rejected and condemned to die (37:4,11,18/ Matt. 13:54-57, 27:18, Mark 15:10, John 1:11, John 15:25b, 19:16, Lu. 23:23, Mk. 15:15). Others plotted to harm them (37:20/ Matt. 26:3,4, John 11:53, 7:19, 8:37,40). Both had their robes taken from them (37:23/ John 19:23). Joseph was thrown into a pit (37:24). Jesus would be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40). Judah wanted to profit from his death (37:26). Judas (the Greek version of the Hebrew name Judah) wanted to profit from Jesus’ death (Matt. 27:3-10). One brother didn’t want to see him harmed, but could do nothing to stop it (37:22,29,30). Some Jews, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, didn’t want to see Jesus harmed, but could do nothing to stop it (John 7:50,51, Matt. 27:57, Mk. 15:43, John 19:38). Joseph was raised from the pit (37:28). Jesus was raised from the grave (1 Cor. 15:4). Both were handed over to Gentiles (37:28/ Mk. 10:33,34, Lu. 18:32). Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver, the price of a slave (37:28). Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave who was killed (Ex. 21:32, Zech. 11:12,13, Matt. 26:14-16). His brother looked for Joseph in the pit but couldn’t find him (37:29 His friends looked for Him in His grave but couldn’t find Him; it was empty (John 20:2,4-8). Joseph’s empty coat given as proof he was no longer there (37:32,33). Jesus’ empty grave clothes given as proof He was no longer there (John 20:5). Joseph’s brothers covered their sin of selling him by the blood of a substitute to cover their guilt (37:31) Jesus, like the Passover lamb, died as a substitute to cover the sins of His people (Ex. 12:13, Rom. 8:3, 1 Cor. 5:7). News of his death caused great grief to those who loved him (37:34,35/Lu. 24:17-21, Mk. 16:10, John 16:22). He was taken to Egypt for his survival (37:36/ Matt. 2:14,15).
In chapter 38, Judah, who would become the head of one of the tribes of Israel, bore a son named Perez (38:29). Jesus would be descended from the tribe of Judah through Perez, on both Mary and Joseph’s sides of the family (Matt.1:1-3, Lu. 3:23,33).
In chapter 39, Joseph and Jesus both became servants (39:1,2/Lu. 22:27, Matt. 12:18, Mk. 10:45, Phil.2:7). Everything they did prospered (39:2,3,5,21,23/ Isa. 53:10, Lu. 2:52). Both were tempted (39:7/ Matt. 4:1, Heb. 2:18, 4:15). Both resisted temptation (39:7-12/ Heb. 4:15, 7:26, Matt. 4:4,7,10,11). Both Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused (39:16-18/Matt. 26:59-61). Both were bound (39:30/ Matt. 27:2).

In chapter 40, both Joseph and Jesus were “numbered with the transgressors” (Isa. 53:12), or thrown in with criminals (Gen. 39:20/Luke 23:33, Matt. 27:38). Both foretold the future accurately (Gen. 40:21, 41:13/John 13:19). Both promised deliverance to one of the criminals (Gen. 40:13/Lu. 23:43). In both cases, the other prisoner was lost (Gen. 40:21/Lu. 23:39). The chief butler would be restored by the king to his former position of honor after three days; Jesus was raised from the dead by God after three days (Gen. 40:13/John 1:1, Heb. 12:2, Lu. 24:7,46, 1 Cor. 15:4). Joseph asked the chief butler to remember him in prison and not leave him there; Jesus, through Psalm 16:10 foresaw He would not be left to decompose in the grave (Gen. 40:14/Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:26-31). Both Joseph and Jesus were forgotten by those they helped (Gen. 40:23/Lu. 17:14-17).
In chapter 41, both were abandoned; (Joseph, after correctly interpreting dream was still imprisoned 2 more years (40:23,41:1) Jesus, abandoned by the disciples at the cross (Matt. 26:56). Both Joseph and Jesus began their life’s work at the age of 30 (Gen. 41:46/ Lu. 3:23). Joseph was taken from the dungeon, a place of death and raised by the king to a place of glory (41:14,39-41); Jesus was raised from the grave and seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:19,20, Phil. 2:8-11)). Joseph was regarded as a great counsellor (41:39). Jesus was a wonderful counsellor (Isa. 9:6, John 7:46, Lu. 4:22). Both were exalted by God to worldwide dominion and thus were instruments of saving Gentiles and Jews (Gen. 41:41-43/ Phil 2:9-11). Joseph was given a new name; Jesus will be given a new name that He alone will know (Gen. 41:45/Rev. 19:12). He was given a Gentile bride (41:45) Jesus’ bride is the church, which includes many Gentiles (Rev. 19:7,8, 5:9,7:9,21:9, Eph. 5:23-35, Psa. 2:7,8). Joseph was given authority over the whole land (41:41), Jesus has authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18, John 17:2). Both sat at the right hand of the most powerful ruler when exalted (41:40/Psa. 110:1, Heb. 1:3,8:1). All people were commanded to bow before him (41:43); all will bow before Jesus (Phil. 2:10). The whole world had to get their bread from Joseph, there was no other way to be saved (41:57); Jesus is the bread of life. There is no other name that saves (John 6:35, Acts 4:12). It was said of Joseph, “Do whatever he tells you.” (41:55); it was said of Jesus, “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5). Both saved Jews and Gentiles (41:7, 45:7,25, Eph. 2:11-22). Once we learn where to find the bread of life, we should search for it without delay. Why should we starve while we see others getting food? Once we’ve been fed, we need to share where it can be found, like the Samaritan beggars who looted the Syrian tents until their consciences bothered them (2 Ki. 7:8,9).There’s a quote by D.T. Niles that evangelism is just “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
In chapter 42, Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him (42:8), Jesus’ disciples didn’t realize who He really was for a long time (John 14:9) and the Jews of His time definitely didn’t realize who He was (2 Cor. 3:14, 1 Cor. 2:8). Joseph knew all about his brothers’ past sins and could hear and understand everything they said (43:33) Jesus knows all about our past and even now knows not just what we say, but what we think (John 2:24,25). Joseph was kind and gracious and generous to his brothers, even though they didn’t deserve it (42:25); even when we were His enemies, Jesus graciously provided for us out of His common grace, giving us more than we deserved, freely and then saved us (2 Cor. 8:9, Rom. 5:8, Mt. 5:45, 1 Tim. 6:17). Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him (42:6), Jesus was worshipped (Mk. 5:22,33, 7:25, John 12:3, 9:38) and will be worshipped by all (Phil. 2:9-11, Rom.14:11, Rev.1:17, 5:8).Joseph’s brothers’ consciences were pricked even all this time after the event (42:21,22); after Jesus’ ascension, when He poured out the Holy Spirit, the consciences of those who crucified him were convicted (Acts 2:37). Jacob thought everything was against him (42:36), but behind the scenes it was actually working out for their good, (45:5, 50:20) just as it is for believers (Rom. 8:28).
In chapter 43, just as Judah promised to be a surety for Benjamin, and bring him safely to his father, (43:8,9) so Jesus Christ, because of His work on the cross, can guarantee that He’ll bring us safely to the Father. We will not be lost (John 10:27-30, 3:16, Heb. 5:9,7:22). Joseph is gracious and kind to his brothers even though they don’t deserve it (43:16,23,24,27,29,34), Jesus is gracious and kind to sinners even though we don’t deserve it (Rom. 5:8, Titus 3:5, 1 Pet. 1:3,2:10, Heb. 4:16). The brothers were afraid, but Joseph’s servant comforted them (43:23), when we fear punishment from God, His servants should offer words of comfort on His behalf (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

In chapter 44, just as God sovereignly used insignificant things to prick the brothers’ consciences (44:12), so God draws us (John 6:44, Rom. 2:15, Heb.10:22,Acts 2:37). Just as the brothers were still tested after they’ve been recipients of Joseph’s kindness and favor (44:4,15) so we are tested even though we are saved (1 Pet. 1:6,7) to bring us to repentance, to prove the genuineness of our faith, and to remind us how much we owe to Jesus’ mercy (Js.1:2,3,Rom.2:4,9:22). Joseph’s brothers again bowed down to him; this time all eleven, as in his dream (37:6,9,10) All people will bow before Jesus (Phil. 2:9-11, Rev.5:8,14,7:11,19:14,22:8). Judah was a surety or guarantor for Benjamin, so he’d be brought safely to his father ( 44:43) Jesus is our surety, guaranteeing we will be brought safely to our Heavenly Father (Heb. 7:20-22, John 6:37,39). Judah offered to be a substitute for his brother (44:33) Jesus was the substitute, first for the guilty Barabbas, (Matt. 27:26, Mk. 15:11,15, Lu. 23:18) then for all His people (John 10:11,15,15:13, 1 Pet. 3:18, Mk. 10:45). Just as Judah did not want to go to his father without ‘the boy’ (44:34), so we should desire the salvation of our children (33:5, 1 Cor. 4:14, 2 Cor. 6:13,Gal. 3:26,4:19,28,1 Thess. 2:11, Heb. 2:13, 1 John 3:1,2). Just as Judah now clings to Benjamin, so the tribe of Benjamin will remain united to the tribe of Judah when the nation divides (1 Ki. 11:31,32,35,2 Chron.11:1). Also, the Apostle Paul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, is faithful to Jesus, from the tribe of Judah (Rom. 11:1, Heb. 7:14).
in chapter 45, both Joseph and Jesus were conscious of God’s sovereign plan for their lives and patiently waited on God’s timing to fulfill His word (45:5,7,8,9/Lu.2:49, John 2:4,10:27,17:1,19:11, Lu.22:53,Gal.4:4). Joseph’s brothers didn’t recognize him until the second time, causing them to be troubled (42:8,45:3,4,14,15). Jesus’ brothers (the Jews) did not recognize who He really was at His first advent (John 5:46, 14:9 1 Cor. 2:8, 2 Cor. 3:14-16), but they will at His second coming, causing them to weep (Zech. 12:10, Rev.1:7). Joseph wept over his brothers (45:2). Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Lu. 19:41-44). Joseph revealed himself to his brothers privately (45:1) Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, works to regenerate a person privately, silently (John 3:8). After Joseph revealed who he was, he comforted them (45:3-5) After Jesus was raised from the dead, and showed Himself to the disciples, He told them not to be afraid (Lu.24:36-39). Joseph invited his brothers to come close to him (45:4). Jesus invites us to come to Him. Because of the cross, we who are far off have been brought near (Matt.11:28, Eph.2:13). Joseph knew God had sent him so many people could be saved (45:5,7,11) Jesus knew God had sent Him so many people could be saved (Mk. 10:45, John 3:16). Both forgave those who wronged them, and provided for them (45:1-15/Lu.23:34, 2 Cor.8:9,1 Tim. 6:17,Eph.2:6,7). Joseph kissed his brothers (45:15). Jesus kissed us with the cross; mercy and peace have kissed each other (Ps.85:10). After they were reconciled to Joseph, they talked with him (45:15) After believers are saved, they enjoy fellowship and sweet communion with Jesus (John 14:23, 15:14,15). The men were told not to worry about leaving their things behind, because they were going to greater riches (45:20). We can leave our worldly goods, knowing we are going to something much greater (Matt.19:29,16:26, Heb.10:34,35). Joseph’s brothers were blessed by Pharaoh because of their connection to Joseph (45:16-23). Believers are blessed by God because of their connection to Jesus through faith (Rom.8:17, Gal.3:29, Eph.3:6, Titus 3:7, 1 Pet.3:7). Benjamin was given more gifts because of his special relationship to Joseph (45:22). Jesus gives gifts and rewards to believers according to His relationship with them (Matt. 20:20-23,1 Cor. 3:11-15). They were told not to quarrel with one another (45:24). Believers should not quarrel with one another, but should be forgiving, for we have the same Father (Phil. 2:2, 4:2). Jacob couldn’t believe Joseph was alive, until he saw the evidence (45:26). The disciples didn’t believe Jesus was alive again, until they saw the empty tomb and the grave clothes (Matt. 28:5,6, Mk. 16:11,13, John 20:5-8). Knowing that he was going to see Joseph, Jacob was content to die (45:28). Knowing that we will see Jesus when we die, we can be content to leave this world (2 Cor. 5:1-8).

In chapter 46, God promised Jacob (Israel) He’d be with him when he went down to Egypt, and He would surely bring him back to the Promised Land (46:4) Jesus, the true Israel went down to Egypt, and returned safely to the land of Israel (Matt. 2:13-15) but He also left Heaven to come down to earth and returned safely to the Heavenly Promised Land (Isa. 9:6, John 3:16, 10:36, 13:3, 10:17, 13:36, 14:2,3, 14:12,16:10, 1 John 4:14). Jacob was taken to Egypt by others (46:5). Jesus was taken to Egypt by Joseph (Matt. 2:14). All the family of God were named and counted, not one was missing (46:7-27). All that the Father gives to Jesus will come to Him, none will be lost (John 6:37, 39, 40, Phil. 4:3, Rev. 3:5). Jacob and Joseph had a tearful, joyful reunion (46:29). We will have a tearful, joyful reunion with Jesus (John 16:22, 2 Cor. 5:8, Rev. 7:17, 21:4). Joseph’s father received his son ‘back from the dead’ (45:28). God the Father received His Son back from the dead (John 20:17, Lu.23:43, Heb.6:19, 20). Jacob knew Joseph was really alive when he saw him for himself (46:30). Thomas didn’t believe Jesus was back from the dead until he saw Him for himself (John 20:24-29). Joseph’s brothers could be brought before Pharaoh only because of Joseph’s intercession and based on his favor with the King, otherwise they would be seen as enemies (46:31-34). We can only approach God the Father because of Jesus’ intercession on our behalf; otherwise we would be seen as enemies (Rom. 5:1, 2, 9-11).
In chapter 47, Joseph was first a servant, counted as a criminal, although innocent, then exalted to the right hand of the king, and ruled over all the people in righteousness (chap. 39-47). Jesus came to earth as a servant, was treated as a criminal, although innocent, then He was exalted to the right hand of God, and rules over all people in righteousness (Phil. 2:5-11, Isa. 53:9, Lu. 23:32,33,41, Psa. 2:6-12, 9:8, 110:1, Heb. 1:3,13, 10:12, 12:2, 2 Pet. 3:13, Rev. 19:1,6,11). Though Joseph was powerful, he was not ashamed of his family (47:1,2,7). Jesus is not ashamed to be associated with us (Heb. 2:11, 11:16, Matt. 28:10, John 15:12-15, 20:17). The people gave themselves and their possessions to Joseph willingly (47:14, 17-19) Believers also give themselves and their possessions, because of what Jesus did (2 Cor. 8:2-5, 9). The people became servants of Pharaoh and Joseph (47:19-23, 25). We are servants of God and Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:16-22, 2 Pet. 1:1, Rom. 1:1, 1 Cor. 3:5, 4:1, 2 Cor. 4:5, Phil. 1:1, Col. 4:12, Rev. 22:3). Joseph collected the people’s offering and presented it to Pharaoh (47:24, 25). Jesus will one day deliver the kingdom over to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28). Joseph charged people for the bread that sustained them (47:14,16,17,20,23,24,26). (Lesser to Greater) But Jesus gave Himself willingly; the gospel is free (Isa. 55:1, John 6:32-35, Heb. 10:7, John 4:10,13,14, Rev. 22:17). Both expect us to give all we have (47: 14,16,20/Lu. 14:25-33, 9:62, Matt. 19:27-29). Both provide us with all we need to be fruitful (47:23,24/John 15:4-8,16, Titus 2:14, Eph. 2:10, Phil. 2:13, Matt. 5:16). Joseph saved the lives of Jews and Gentiles. He was acknowledged as savior and ruler (47:25). Jesus has saved Jews and Gentiles. He is the Savior and Lord of the world (Eph. 2:11-22, Phil. 2:10,11, 2 Pet. 3:18, Rev. 5:9, 7:9).

In chapter 48, Jacob gave a good testimony at the end of his life (48:3,4,11,15,16,21). Jesus gave a good testimony at the end of His life before Pilate (1 Tim. 6:13, John 18:35-38, 19:10,11). Jacob brings Joseph’s sons (outsiders) into the family of faith by adoption (48:5,6). Jesus brings outsiders (Gentiles) into the family of faith by adoption (Rom. 8:15-17, Gal. 4:3-7, Eph. 1:3-6). Jacob spoke by prophecy (48:14,19-21). Jesus spoke prophetically (Mk. 10:33,34,13:2, Matt. 16:4, 20:18,19, 26:31,32, Lu. 23:28-31, John 2:19-22, 3:14). Even when dying he was aware of what he was doing and saying (48:10,14-17). Even when Jesus was dying on the cross, He was aware of what was happening and what He was saying (John 19:26-30, Matt.27:46, Mk. 15:34, Lu. 23:32-46). Jacob received his son back from the dead, and saw his offspring (48:11). God the Father received His Son back from the dead and saw His spiritual offspring (Isa. 53:10, John 16:10, 17:24,20:17,Heb. 2:13, 8:1, Eph. 1:20,21). Joseph didn’t understand what his father was doing and it troubled him (48:17-20). The disciples didn’t understand much of what Jesus did at the time, but only after He was raised from the dead (John 13:7, 2:19-22). Jacob dug a well and gave it to Joseph (48:22). Jesus, who is greater than Jacob sat there and offered living water (John 4:4-6).
In chapter 49, Judah would be praised by his brothers (49:8). Jesus will be praised by the whole earth (Rev. 5:8-14). Judah is blessed to be the tribe through whom kings would come, culminating with the Messiah Himself (49:10). David, Solomon, and others were from the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 28:10,11). Jesus would come through the tribe of Judah (Matt. 1:2,3,16, Lu. 3:23-33, Heb. 7:14, Rev. 5:5). Judah is associated with a lion (49:9). This is where the phrase the Lion of Judah comes from, and will be applied to Jesus, who is from the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). The obedience of the nations would belong to this future king (49:10). People from all nations would submit to the rule of Jesus, the Messiah. This points to the worldwide gospel (Ps. 2:7,8,Rev. 5:9, 7:9, Matt. 28:19, Gal. 3:8). Knowing the promised Offspring of the woman (3:15) would come through his family in the future, gave Jacob comfort in his death (Heb. 11:13). We look back on the promise fulfilled in Jesus, and knowing God always keeps His promises, gives us comfort in death, because He will come again (Rom. 5:2, 8:23-25, 1 Cor. 15:57,58, 2 Cor. 1:10, 3:4,12, Eph. 1:18-21, Col. 1:5,27, 1 Thess. 4:13-17, 2 Thess. 2:16, 1 Tim. 1:1, Titus 1:1, 2:13, 3:7, 1 Pet. 1:3,13). The blessings ascribed to Judah of health and wine (49:11,12) are given to us in Christ, the true vine, as we abide in Him (John 15:1, 4,5). The reason the tribe of Issachar were willing to work hard is because they saw the land of promise was pleasant (49:15) Likewise we should look with the eye of faith to our heavenly Promised Land and be willing to labor (Heb. 12:1-3). Even though they were harmful to the cause of the nation, Jacob longed for deliverance to come to Dan (49:18). In this life we will likely be disappointed by people, but our hope is in God and His salvation (John 16:32, 2 Tim. 4:16,17). The tribe of Gad were valiant fighters (49:19). The Christian life is seen as a conflict (1 Tim. 6:12), the weapons of our warfare are not weapons of the world (1 Cor. 10:4) and we are soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3,4) in the Church Militant and we are to don the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), knowing the victory is sure (Rom. 8:37, John 16:33, Rev. 19:11). Both Joseph and Jesus suffered greatly yet were faithful to the end because God was with them (49:23,24/Rev. 3:14,19:11, Isa. 53:11, Heb. 2:9,10,18,5:8,13:12). Likewise, any strength we have to withstand temptation comes from God (1 Cor. 10:13, 2 Cor. 12:9). Joseph was called a prince among his brothers (49:26). Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6, 5:31). Jacob wanted to rest in the Promised Land of Canaan (49:29-32). Jesus went to Paradise when He died (Lu. 23:43). We long for our rest in the Promised Land, Heaven, of which Canaan is a type.
In chapter 50, the mourning of the Egyptians as Israel departed prefigures the Exodus when they will be mourning as Israel leaves for Canaan (50:10,11/Ex. 121:29,30). The glory of Egypt that goes with them hints at the gifts and plunder that the Egyptians will give to the children of Israel as they leave (50:7,9/Ex.11:2,3,12:35,36). Joseph’s brothers recognized they had sinned against him and knew any punishment would be just (50:15-18). Sinners acknowledge their sin is against God and any punishment would be just (Ps. 51:4, 130:3, Acts 2:23, 1 Tim. 1:15). Joseph is a model of forgiveness without bitterness towards those who have hurt them, one who comforts the fearful sinner who recognizes his guilt (50:19-21). Jesus is the greater Joseph who does this to all who come to Him by faith (John 6:37,Matt. 11:28). Joseph, like a shepherd provided for his family (50:21). Jesus provides for His spiritual family (2 Pet. 1:3, Matt. 5:45). Joseph was faithful till the end of his life/Jesus is faithful to the end of time (50:24,25/Matt. 28:18-20,Rev. 3:14,19:11). There is no record of sin in Joseph’s life, unlike other Bible characters, so he prefigures Jesus in a lesser to greater sense. Jesus truly was sinless (Heb. 4:15, 7:26,). Joseph had a virtual death, resurrection, and exaltation. Jesus had a real death, a real resurrection, and has been exalted to the right hand of God (Heb. 1:3,13,10:12,12:2,1 Pet. 3:21,22). Joseph’s life story is summed up in the verse, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (50:20) This is a theologically sound statement about the sovereignty of God that is demonstrated time and again in the pages of Scripture; most notably in reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which was a far greater travesty of justice than the sale of Joseph into Egypt. Acts 2:23 says, “This Man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.” Joseph’s bones would be brought to the Promised Land; (50:25). Jesus went to the heavenly Canaan (Heb. 6:19,20, Lu.23:43). Both used their power for good/both returned good for evil. Joseph’s earlier claims to future greatness came true; Jesus predicted His future glory, which will happen (see the Book of Revelation). Both forgave those who wronged them (50:19-21/Lu.23:34). Joseph went ahead of his brothers and prepared a place for them, brought them to himself, and they saw his glory, and couldn’t believe he was the same humble person they had known previously (45:5,7,8). They had joy and shared his blessings. Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us and will return for us (John 14:2,3). We will see His glory, and He will be so unlike the humble Man He was on earth. We will have joy and share His blessings (John 16:22, Rev.21:4, 22:3).

Jesus as the Son of Man in the book of Luke

31 May

The term, Son of Man is used in Scripture of Jesus 83 times in the gospels. On first glance, you’d think it refers to His humanity. But we know that Jesus was not the son of a man, as He had no human father. Lu. 4:23 “…being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph…”
The original hearers would understand immediately that the title, Son of Man, was a reference to the Messiah, taken from Dan. 7:13
“I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.”
This person is distinguished from God the Father, The Ancient of Days. He is given a worldwide, everlasting kingdom. Some think this refers to a future date when Christ returns, while others think it pictures Christ’s ascension because He is approaching the Father, not returning to earth. It was after His death and resurrection that He obtained His kingdom, which now included people from all over the earth.
By referring to Himself in this manner, His enemies would know quite clearly that He was claiming to be the Messiah. This made them angry.

In Ezra, Christ is the ruler of Kings

26 May

A Scarlet Thread is a hint in the O.T. that gave us a picture of what the Messiah would be like. While not a picture of Jesus Himself, the book of Ezra does paint an allegorical picture of the gospel invitation and the Christian’s walk in the face of enemies.
In this book, we see Christ as the ruler of kings. He moves earthly monarchs to fulfill His will. Behind the movements of men and nations, there is the unseen and omnipotent hand of God. Three pagan kings are presented in this book, each one doing what he desires to do, yet fulfilling the purposes of God in their plans. God stirs up the spirits of those people by regeneration and makes them willing. God raises them out of slavery to sin into the liberty of the children of God. This is how the heavenly Canaan will be filled. God first calls, then He enables us to respond. Some choose to stay in Babylon, unwilling to leave behind the familiar world they’ve always known.
Cyrus’ proclamation is itself a picture of the general call of the gospel for people to leave this world and go to the Promised Land. The bringing back of the Jews from captivity represents the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ.
An account is kept of the names of the people of the kingdom. Likewise our names are written in the Book of Life. “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:15
Some who had no evidence of their priesthood were rejected. Ezra 3:62 If people have no evidence that by the new birth they are priests to God, through Jesus Christ, they have no rights to the comforts and privileges of Christians. See the parable of the marriage feast in Matthew 22:11-13.
When the tabernacle was being constructed in the wilderness, the people gave more than was needed, and had to be restrained from giving. When the first temple was constructed, the people gave generously at all stages of the construction and later for the worship. Now again, they are giving (Ezra 2:69) 25 tons of silver, 4 tons of gold, and 100 priestly garments.

In the New Covenant, we are not living in a theocracy. Our taxes support our society, and our givings are never referred to as a tithe, but only ever as offerings and gifts. We are to give cheerfully, willingly, deliberately, as God has prospered us.

In the Book of Malachi, Jesus is the Messenger of the Covenant

11 May

John the Baptist preaching
The people had just asked, “Where is the God of justice?” God responds by saying, He is coming. How will they recognize Him? A messenger will be sent on ahead of Him, to prepare the way.
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.” Mal. 3:1a
The idea here is of an envoy sent ahead to smooth out the path before a monarch arrived. He would make sure all was ready for the arrival of the king.
He is called My messenger, which is the meaning of Malachi’s name, but he is not referring to himself. This messenger will come in the spirit and power of Elijah. This is not Elijah himself, returned to earth. But someone much like him in appearance and in message.
The fact that “he will prepare the way before Me,” would remind them of Isaiah’s prophecy, which John the Baptist quotes to describe who he is.
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;

The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’” Isa. 40:3-5
Each of the gospels quotes at least part of this text and Matthew also quotes from Malachi, linking the two in reference to John the Baptist.
“Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?’
He said: ‘I am
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Make straight the way of the LORD,’“ as the prophet Isaiah said.’”
John 1:22,23
We know that John the Baptist, who preached in Judea prior to Jesus’ public ministry was similar in appearance to Elijah.
“Then he said to them, ‘What kind of man was it who came up to meet you and told you these words?’
So they answered him, ‘A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.’
And he said, ‘It is Elijah the Tishbite.’” 2 Kings 1:7,8
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’ ”

“Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”
Matt. 3:1-6
The content of John the Baptist’s preaching is described; it will reach men’s hearts and change them. He will prepare the way for the Saviour.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Mal. 4:5,6
The angel Gabriel announced this to John the Baptist’s father, Zacharias:
“But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’” Luke 1:13-17
Jesus clearly says that John is the fulfillment of this prophecy:
“And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’
Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.”
Matt. 17:10-13
For this is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”
Matt. 11:10-14
So, since we know that this prophecy was fulfilled 400 years after it was given, in the person of John the Baptist, it tells us that the Messenger of the Covenant would follow behind. He did. It’s one thing to send a messenger, which He had been doing up until this point, but quite another thing to come Himself.
“’Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,’
Says the LORD of hosts.” Mal. 3:1
Malachi tells us a few things about Him: He is the Lord. He will come suddenly (unexpectedly), to His temple. He is the Messenger of the covenant.
First, He is the Lord. Isaiah’s prophecy said to ‘prepare the way of the LORD.’ And ‘a highway for our God.’ We saw in the book of Zechariah that God promised several times that He would come and dwell in their midst.
Second, He will come suddenly, to His temple. For it to be His temple and not just to the temple, means that He is the Lord. Jesus first public appearance after His baptism was to cleanse the temple. Three of the gospels record this. (Matt.21:12, Mark 11:15, and John 2:13).
Finally, He is called the Messenger of the covenant. He came to establish the new covenant.
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’” Lu. 22:19,20
So if the messenger who comes before is John the Baptist, then we know that Jesus is the One he was preparing the way for, as John also testified.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’” John 1:29,30
The next description of what He would come to do was in reply to their question, “Where is the God of justice?” He says He is coming near for judgment, and to purify with fire and with soap. This refers to both His first and second coming, as in the first advent, He dealt with our sin problem. This resulted in offerings made that pleased Him. When He comes the second time, it will be for judgment, and all wrongs will be made right, because He is a God of justice.
The image of a refiner’s fire is that when a metal worker is refining silver, he heats it up, then scoops away the dross which rises to the surface. He keeps peering into it until he can see his reflection in the silver. Then he knows it is pure.
Likewise, God refines us in the fire of affliction, removing our sins, until He sees His image reflected in us.
When Jesus read from the prophecy of Isaiah in Nazareth, He read,
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,” Isa. 61:1, 2a
He then announced that this remarkable prophecy had been fulfilled in Himself. (Lu. 4:18,19) But if you look at what He didn’t read, the next line, it shows that a day of grace would precede the final judgment.
The next verse was, “and the day of vengeance of our God.”
This is similar to what we see here in Malachi’s prophecy. When prophets were given messages, they didn’t know which parts would be fulfilled when. Even John the Baptist preached themes of judgment that didn’t occur during Jesus’ ministry.
We are now in that day of grace between Jesus’ first and second advent. We should never demand justice, only cry for mercy.
Just as there were 400 years of silence till these prophecies were fulfilled, we are experiencing the silence of God for 2,000 years. Don’t be anxious for Him to speak again. He has said all that needs to be said through His Son. The next time He speaks will be when He comes to judge the earth. Today is the day of grace. Come to Him while there is still time.

In Zechariah, Jesus is the One whose feet will stand on the Mount of Olives

10 May

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east…” Zech. 14:4a
While Jesus was on earth, He was often on the Mount of Olives, teaching. (John 8:1, Matt.21:1, 24:2, Mark 13:3, Luke 19:37, 22:39 He also ascended to Heaven from there, and the angels promised that He would also return in the same manner, most likely to the same place.
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.” Acts 1:9-12
Again, the reference to “that day” no doubt refers to the last days.

In Zechariah, Jesus is the Smitten Shepherd

9 May

scattered sheep
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
Against the Man who is My Companion,”
Says the LORD of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered;
Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.” Zech. 13:7
This would not be so surprising if it was against the three false shepherds of Zech. 11:8 or the foolish shepherd of 11:15-17. But here we have God Himself giving the order to the sword of justice to awake against His Son, here called ‘My Shepherd’, and ‘the Man who is My Companion’, or equal. In this we see both the incarnation and the atonement.
We know this was His plan. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.” Isa. 53:10a “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” Acts 2:23

Jesus was the Good Shepherd, who would lay down His life for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11
The second part of the verse was fulfilled the night before Jesus was crucified. Jesus told His disciples in advance that this would happen. Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ Matt. 26:31 They didn’t believe it, and instead boasted that they would die for Him. But Peter denied Him that night, as Jesus prophesied, and the rest forsook Him in fear for their own lives. “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” Matt. 26:56
The final portion of the verse, “Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.” This may refer to the persecution that would follow, or the destruction that would come upon Jerusalem for the rejection of the True Shepherd.

 

In Zechariah, Jesus is the source of the Fountain opened for Sin and Uncleanness

8 May

fountain
“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” Zech. 13:1
“In that day” in this book seems to refer to the Day of the LORD at the end of time. This gives the Jews hope that they will be forgiven for their sin of crucifying the Messiah.
The fountain was the atoning death of the pierced One. Jesus’ side was pierced while on the cross. “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” John 19:34 The water is for cleansing and the blood for covering (atonemnent).
The beneficiaries are the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, or Jews.
The purpose of this fountain is for cleansing and purification.
Another alternative is that the fountain refers to the gospel, which began to be preached in Jerusalem, then flowed out from that city.

In Zechariah, God promises to come and dwell in their midst, and have a universal church

7 May

solomon's temple

In Zechariah, God promises to come and dwell in their midst, and have a universal church
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the LORD. “Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” Zech. 2:10-13
How must this news have sounded to the ears of those who heard Zechariah? God told them to rejoice because He was coming to dwell in their midst. But even more than that, He would cause many nations to be joined to the LORD (Gentiles) and they would also be called His people. Amazing.
Then Jesus came to earth. “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Then the Gentiles were joined to the church. “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:16
“And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.” Acts 10:45
“When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.’” Acts 11:18
“So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:8,9
God has always been concerned about having a loving, family relationship with His creatures. It was promised in the Old Testament.
“I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Ex. 6:7
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” Lev. 26:12
“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’” Jer. 7:23
Further, it was not just said to the Jews, but to the Gentiles.
“Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’ ” Hos. 2:23
It was confirmed again in the New Testament.
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.’” 1 Cor. 6:16,18

In Zechariah, the Branch will remove iniquity in one day, will build the temple, and be king and priest

6 May

branch

In Zechariah, the Branch will remove iniquity in one day, will build the temple, and be king and priest:
‘Hear, O Joshua, the high priest,
You and your companions who sit before you,
For they are a wondrous sign;
For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH.
For behold, the stone
That I have laid before Joshua:
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
Says the LORD of hosts,
‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zech. 3:4,8,9
“Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying:
“Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
From His place He shall branch out,
And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD.
He shall bear the glory,
And shall sit and rule on His throne;
So He shall be a priest on His throne,
And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’ Zech. 6:11-13
“And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—‘The LORD is one’, and His name one.” Zech. 14:9
In these verses, believed to be Messianic, He is called “My Servant,” “the Man,” and “the Branch” who will “remove the iniquity of the land in one day,” “build the temple of the LORD,” “bear the glory,” “rule on His throne,” “be a priest of His throne,” and “there will be peace between those roles.”
Jesus is called God’s servant in many other Scriptures (Isa. 42:1-4, Isa. 52:13, 53:11, Ezek. 37:24,25, Hag. 2:23, Matt. 12:18). Here He is also identified as a Man. This tells us He will be a Man, not an angel. He is also called the Branch. We know from other verses that use this designation, that He will be a descendant of David, the son of Jesse.
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isa. 11:1
“In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.” Jer. 33:15
According to the genealogies, Jesus was a descendant of David legally, through Joseph, and by blood through Mary. (Matt. 1:6, Luke 3:31.32) so He fulfilled the requirement. This same Branch will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. This was accomplished when He died on the cross as a sin offering.

It also says He will build the temple. Some believe this means He will build a physical temple during the Millennium, but we know in the New Covenant the church is the temple, and individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19) Jesus promises to build His church. Just as the work of the temple was started by Zerubbabel and would be completed by him, so the work of building the church which was started by Jesus, will be completed by Him. “…I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18b
This is the temple He is building. He is the glory of the temple, because He would physically be in the temple built by Zerubbabel (Hag. 2:7), and then because He indwells His people through His Spirit.

As a sign of His current favour to them, He assured them that as Zerubbabel had laid the foundation of the temple, he would also complete it, because he would be empowered by God’s Spirit, and all obstacles which seemed like mountains, would become as a plain.

“The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.” Zech. 4:9

“So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 4:6

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’” Zech. 4:7

Further, He will rule on a throne, as well as a priest on His throne. These roles are not usually mingled, in fact, they are forbidden to be mingled, as King Uzziah learned (2 Chron. 26:16-23). But with the Messiah, He will be prophet, priest and king. There will be no disharmony among the roles. He will be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. (Psalm 110:4, Heb. 5:6,10,6:20,7:1,10-21)
This is further demonstrated when Zechariah is instructed to make an elaborate (kingly) crown for Joshua the High Priest to wear. This crown was not to be worn by Joshua, but placed in the temple as a memorial, to remind them that the fulfillment was for a future date by One who was yet to come.
Joshua (the High Priest) and Zerubbabel (from the kingly line) together foreshadowed Jesus, who is both King and Priest.
His reign will be universal. He is King over all the earth.

In Zechariah, Jesus is the Firstborn Son over whom they will Grieve and Mourn

8 Dec

pierced hands
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zech. 12:10
This is a prophecy that was fulfilled in small measure at the time of the early church when thousands of Jews, many of whom had called for Jesus’ crucifixion, later repented and recognized they were guilty of murdering the Messiah. But a greater fulfillment awaits. God promises to pour out a Spirit of grace and supplication on them. Because of His grace (unmerited favour) they will cry out to Him (supplication). God refers to Himself as the One pierced. This refers to the deity of Jesus. He was pierced on the cross, both in His hands and feet, and the spear in His side.

This was foretold centuries earlier in Psalm 22, a Messianic psalm.
“For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.” Psalm 22:16-18
It’s important to remember that when this Psalm was written, the practice of crucifixion was completely unknown.
The result of their recognition of guilt for the death of the son of God will be to grieve and mourn. This confirms that this piercing resulted in death. The grief will be of the worst kind; mourning as for an only son, and grieving as for a firstborn. And Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, and He is the firstborn, both literally, and in status. He is also called the firstborn from the dead, relating to His resurrection.
This is a promise of salvation to a remnant of Jews. In the book of Revelation there is a similar recognition of who Jesus is, but it comes too late.
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Rev. 1:7

In Zechariah, Jesus is the One sold for 30 pieces of silver

8 Dec

blood money
“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.” Zech. 11:12,13
By God’s direction the prophet demanded wages. He was basically asking, “What am I worth to you?” Zechariah probably didn’t understand the meaning or significance of what happened next. He received 30 pieces of silver.
Likewise, Judas approached the Jewish leaders and asked what they were willing to pay him to betray Jesus to them. He was also asking, “What is He worth to you?” You’d think they’d be willing to pay anything to be rid of Him, that they’d say, “Name your price.” But they gave what had been foreordained, unknowingly fulfilling Scripture.
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.” Matt. 26:14-16
So this Scripture was fulfilled when Judas betrayed Jesus for the “princely sum” of 30 pieces of silver. This was the price to be paid for a slave who died. (Ex. 21:32) It showed how little they thought of Jesus. In disdain for the paltry sum, God directed it to be thrown into the temple and used for the potter.
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it! Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matt. 27:3-5
But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.” Matt. 27:6-10
When he was remorseful, he returned it to the temple. They recognized it as blood money and could not use it in “good conscience” so instead it was used to purchase the Potter’s field to bury strangers in.
God always promises to fulfill His word. Zechariah didn’t know why he was told to ask for wages, or to throw it into the temple for the potter. Judas didn’t know the significance of the amount he was paid to betray Jesus. The Jewish leaders didn’t realize they were fulfilling Scripture when they offered this sum, or when Judas threw it onto the temple floor, or when they found a “noble” use for the blood money. Yet it was just another Scripture fulfilled in the life of Jesus that should have made the Jews, both then and now, realize Jesus was the Messiah.

In Zechariah, Jesus is the lowly king on a donkey

1 Dec

 

triumphal entry
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9
Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the King on a lowly donkey when He entered Jerusalem a week before His crucifixion. The people were rejoicing, shouting Hosanna, or Save Now! They seemed to be recognizing Him as Messiah and King of the Jews. This happened in Jerusalem, just as Scripture foretold. It talks of His character; He is just, or righteous. It speaks to His purpose; having salvation, or bringing salvation. This salvation was salvation from sin, not the salvation from Roman oppression, as they were expecting.
Unlike Alexander the Great, who arrived on a war horse, in pageantry and pride, our King arrived on a lowly donkey, which further showed his humble character. This is not a characteristic usually expected in kings.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
This was fulfilled to the letter by Jesus.
“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!”
And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” Matt. 21:1-11
On His first advent, Jesus rode a lowly donkey. At His second coming, He will be on a war horse, followed by His saints.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” Rev. 19:11
“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” Rev. 19:14
Zechariah mentions this as well,
“Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.” Zech. 14:5c
Verse 10 tells us this results in peace. We have peace with God because of the work of Jesus on the cross. But one day there will also be world peace.
“He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’” Zech. 9:10b
Because we don’t see world peace yet, Boice says the entire church age may rightly intervene between verse 9 and 10.

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