1. BETRAYED BY HIS BRETHREN
a. How did Jacob’s sons betrayal of Joseph compare to Christ’s betrayal? Genesis 37:18; John 1:11; Matthew 21:37–39.
“The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ. It was envy that moved the brothers of Joseph to sell him as a slave; they hoped to prevent him from becoming greater than themselves. And when he was carried to Egypt, they flattered themselves that they were to be no more troubled with his dreams, that they had removed all possibility of their fulfillment. But their own course was overruled by God to bring about the very event that they designed to hinder. So the Jewish priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that He would attract the attention of the people from them. They put Him to death, to prevent Him from becoming king, but they were thus bringing about this very result.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 239.
b. In what way was the selling of Joseph likened to Judas selling Christ? Genesis 37:28; Matthew 26:14–16.
“Joseph was sold to his enemies by his own brethren for a small sum of money. The Son of God was sold to His bitterest enemies by one of His own disciples. Jesus was meek and holy. His was a life of unexampled self-denial, goodness, and holiness. He was not guilty of any wrong. Yet false witnesses were hired to testify against Him. He was hated because He had been a faithful reprover of sin and corruption.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1096.
2. WRONGLY ACCUSED
a. What happened to the garments of Joseph and Christ? Genesis 37:23, 31; Matthew 27:28, 35.
“Joseph’s brethren stripped him of his coat of many colors. The executioners of Jesus cast lots for His seamless coat.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1096.
b. How did the actions of those who opposed Joseph and Christ bring about their very own salvation? Genesis 50:20, 21; Acts 2:36–38.
“Joseph, by being sold by his brethren into Egypt, became a saviour to his father’s family. Yet this fact did not lessen the guilt of his brethren. The crucifixion of Christ by His enemies made Him the Redeemer of mankind, the Saviour of the fallen race, and ruler over the whole world. But the crime of his enemies was just as heinous as though God’s providential hand had not controlled events for His own glory and the good of man.”—The Signs of the Times, February 5, 1880.
c. How did Joseph’s attitude in suffering typify Christ’s sufferings? Genesis 39:19, 20; Isaiah 53:6–8.
“Joseph walked with God. And when he was imprisoned and suffered because of his innocence, he meekly bore it without murmuring. His self-control, his patience in adversity, and his unwavering fidelity are left on record for the benefit of all who should afterward live on the earth.”—Ibid.
“Close to the cross are the blind, bigoted, faithless priests and elders, taunting, mocking, and jeering: ‘Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself’ (Matthew 27:40). . . .
“Not one word did Jesus answer to all this. While the nails were being driven through His hands, and the sweat drops of agony were forced from His pores, from the pale, quivering lips of the innocent Sufferer a prayer of pardoning love was breathed for His murderers: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:34).”—Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 208, 209.
3. EXALTED TO HONOR
a. After being freed from prison, Joseph was made second ruler; he was given a new name; and everyone was to bow to him. How does this compare to Christ, after He was freed from the prison of death? Genesis 41:41–45; Hebrews 10:12, 13; 1:3, 4; Philippians 2:9–11.
“When man rebelled, Christ became his surety and substitute. He undertook the combat with the powers of darkness; and when through death He destroyed him that had the power of death, the highest honors were bestowed upon Him. He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and sat down at the right hand of God—the very Jesus who had borne the curse of sin for us. And there was given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. To Him God has delegated His power; He has the keys of death and the grave.”—Bible Echo, January 15, 1889.
b. What similarities can be found in the life mission of both Joseph and Christ? How did God use each of them to save life? Genesis 45:5–8; John 3:16, 17; 6:53, 63; 5:24.
“The story of a crucified and risen Saviour is the great central theme of the Word of God. In the psalms, in the prophecies, in the gospels, and in the epistles, God has by revelation made prominent the vital truths concerning the agreement between the Father and the Son in providing for the salvation of a lost race.
“Christ was crucified to save the world. For His enemies, for a race in rebellion against God, our Saviour suffered the most excruciating agonies that human flesh could endure. He has made ample provision for sinners, that they need not perish. In the light of His death-agony on the cross, we may know that whosoever will truly repent and receive Him as a personal Saviour will receive everlasting life.”—The Review and Herald, September 24, 1908.
“The gospel invitation is to be given to all the world. . . .
“The world is perishing for want of the gospel. There is a famine for the word of God. There are few who preach the word unmixed with human tradition. Though men have the Bible in their hands, they do not receive the blessing that God has placed in it for them. The Lord calls upon His servants to carry His message to the people. The word of everlasting life must be given to those who are perishing in their sins.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 228, 229.
4. THE PROMISED LAND
a. In what way does the carrying of Joseph’s body to Canaan symbolize the hope of the heavenly Canaan? Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:18, 19; Hebrews 11:22, 39, 40.
“Through the centuries of toil which followed, the coffin, a reminder of the dying words of Joseph, testified to Israel that they were only sojourners in Egypt, and bade them keep their hopes fixed upon the Land of Promise, for the time of deliverance would surely come.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 240.
“The only hope for the Jewish nation was in their acceptance of Christ, in forsaking their sins, and being reconciled to God. United to Christ, they would indeed become a great nation. He would work for them as He had worked for them in the past. If they were obedient, He would lead them to the heavenly Canaan as He had planted them in the earthly Canaan.”—The Signs of the Times, July 21, 1898.
b. What is our hope as we journey through this world? 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; John 14:1–3.
“We are indeed strangers here, and pilgrims to a better country. Our prospective home is the heavenly Canaan, where we shall drink of the ‘pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.’ (Revelation 22:1).”—The Review and Herald, November 17, 1885.
“I am bidden to say to you that you know not how soon the crisis will come. It is stealing gradually upon us, as a thief. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the heavens still declare the glory of God; men are pursuing their usual course of eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying and giving in marriage; merchants are still engaged in buying and selling; publications are still issuing one upon another; men are jostling one against another, seeking to get the highest place; pleasure lovers are still attending theaters, horse races, gambling hells, and the highest excitement prevails; but probation’s hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. There are few who believe with heart and soul that we have a heaven to win and a hell to shun; but these show their faith by their works.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 413, 414.
5. THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST
a. What is the only way we can become as faithful to God as Joseph was? Philippians 2:5; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 12:2.
“Precious are the privileges accorded him who abides in Christ. . . . The mind of Christ dwells in His faithful followers; their desires are in accordance with His will; their petitions are indited by His Spirit. They obtain answers to their prayers; for they ask for such blessings as He delights to bestow.”—Our High Calling, p. 147.
b. In these last days of prevailing wickedness, what should we desire above everything else? 1 John 3:2, 3; 1 Peter 2:21–23; 5:10.
“When man is in fellowship with God, that unswerving purpose which preserved Joseph and Daniel amidst the corruption of heathen courts will make his a life of unsullied purity. His robes of character will be spotless. In his life the light of Christ will be undimmed. The bright and morning Star will appear shining steadfastly above him in changeless glory.
“Such a life will be an element of strength in the community. It will be a barrier against evil, a safeguard to the tempted, a guiding light to those who, amidst difficulties and discouragements, are seeking the right way.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 136.
“We shall pass through this world but once. Shall we not strive to leave on those with whom we associate the impress of the character of Christ?”—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 193.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Who are often the worst enemies of the faithful?
2. What should our attitude be when persecuted for the truth’s sake?
3. For what is the world starving today, and how can we help to bring relief?
4. Why are the faithful regarded as pilgrims and strangers in this world?
5. What stands out the most when you consider the life of Joseph?