Today’s read was Genesis 40-45, covering the story of Joseph from the time he was elevated to a position of authority while in jail until he reveals himself to his brothers and sends them to bring his father back to live in Goshen. The individual events in Joseph’s life are a treasure of illustrations and lessons for us, but this morning I was reminded of how much his life is a type of Christ, foreshadowing so many things about Jesus. He was unjustly accused, disbelieved by his brothers, sold as a slave, and sent by God to suffer many things so that he is in a position to save his people.
One that’s not on the list that I had never thought about is the events that occurred with Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker while in prison. I can’t take credit; this was mentioned in passing in a sermon I heard recently. Briefly, while Joseph is in prison, Pharaoh has a disagreement with these two men and throws them in jail. They each have a dream which they tell Joseph and he correctly interprets.
The cupbearer dreams of a grapevine with three branches that blossoms and bears grapes. In the dream, he is holding Pharaoh’s cup, so he takes the grapes and squeezes them into the cup, and gives it to Pharaoh. The baker dreams of three baskets of bread on his head; the top basket is filled with all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on his head. In the interpretation Joseph gives, three branches and three baskets represent three days. In that time, Pharaoh will restore the cupbearer to his office, but he will lift up the head of the baker and hang him on a tree.
Isn’t it interesting, the choice of words? Is it a coincidence that we are talking about bread and wine? As the bread of life, Jesus’ body, given for us, was broken, and He was lifted up and hanged on a tree. Birds in scripture represent the evil spirits (remember the birds in the parable of the sower that snatch away the word before it can take root?). Satan thought he won when Jesus died. Jesus drank the cup of suffering but He also drank the cup of the new covenant with His disciples. After three days, God raised him up and restored Him to His former office and His former glory!
It could have been any of a hundred different servants of Pharaoh that ended up in prison with Joseph, but I believe this is just another example of the supernatural, amazing nature of God’s Word and His sovereign activity in the affairs of men. Scripture points to Jesus over and over and over. I’m so thankful for the Holy Spirit who gives us insight and allows us just a glimpse of God’s glory every now and then.
Have you found this Jesus who is all over the pages of scripture – both Old and New Testaments? He is right there if you will but look for Him!
Check out this link for a great list of how we see Jesus in Joseph’s life.