OK. Here’s Day 2 of my 365 days whereby I am seeking Jesus in Scripture (see why I am doing this here).
Today’s Readings: Genesis 3:1- 4:26, Psalm 2: 1-6, Proverbs 1: 8-9, Matthew 2: 1-23 (if you are so inclined, why not read along with me?)
As I first read these passages, I thought, “What’s new?” After all, I’ve thought a lot about the Fall and even blogged about it here.
Nothing jumped out from Psalms and Proverbs.
Then I read Matthew, thinking, “We just went through all of this at Christmas. What’s new?”
Well, something did jump out.
First, there’s all that fulfilled prophecy. That always amazes me. The Scripture Scholars of Israel knew that certain Old Testament prophecies dealt in part with the coming Messiah – they just weren’t sure how or when it would all come true. Can you imagine how utterly astounded and amazed Matthew and company were to realize just how perfectly Jesus’ birth, life, and death matched the prophecies written hundreds of years beforehand? Wow.
But what really struck me was this passage:
After [the wise men] left, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, because Herod is starting to look for the child so he can kill him. Stay in Egypt until I tell you to return.
So Joseph got up and left for Egypt during the night with the child and his mother. And Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod died. This happened to bring about what the Lord had said through the prophet: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
Matthew 2: 13-15 (New Century Version), quoting Hosea 11: 1
What immediately came to my mind as I read this passage?
That other Joseph who dreamed a dream. The multicolored coat guy. The one who wound up in Egypt as Pharoah’s right hand man. The one who said of his brother’s treachery when they sold him into slavery:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20 (New International Version)
The Old Testament Joseph, one of Israel’s 12 sons, was a “type” of Jesus who’s life story foreshadowed what Jesus came to do: save many lives.
Both Old Testament and New Testament Joes ended up in Egypt to save lives, first, the lives of Israel’s descendants (who would have starved without Joseph’s provision of food in Egypt), then the life of Jesus, Israel’s ultimate descendant.
And both Joes were called out of Egypt. Hosea’s prophecy has a double fulfillment.
First, God’s “son” the nation of Israel was called out of Egypt in order to enter the Promised Land (and they brought Joseph’s body out, too – Joshua 24:32).
Then, God’s son Jesus was called out of Egypt (with his dad Joseph) in order that we may enter the Promised Land (when he died on the Cross in Israel).
How cool is all that?