When we trace patterns and promises of Jesus in the Torah, no part of Scripture strikes more of a resemblance to the Messiah than the figure of Joseph. Joseph is a man who takes on many challenges in life and has faith in his God. When we look at the life story of Joseph, many similarities start to appear to that of Jesus.
When we first read of Joseph, we read about how much Jacob loved him. Genesis 37:3, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons,”. This can compare to what God said of Jesus when he was baptized, Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;”. There is a connection of love between the father and sons in these two stories.
Joseph was sent by his father to go find his brothers to see how they were (Genesis 37:14). Jesus also mentions that he was sent here on earth by His Father (Matthew 10:40).
Joseph was rejected and hated by his brothers much like Jesus was hated by the Jews (John 15:18). Joseph’s brothers wanted to kill him (Genesis 37:20), and so they threw him in a cistern. Joseph’s brothers stripped him of a robe and Jesus at his crucifixion was stripped and had a robe put on him (Matthew 27:28). Joseph was then sold into slavery in Egypt just as Jesus was betrayed by Judas into evil men’s hands (Matthew 27:3).
A little later on in Joseph’s life, he was becoming successful by the Lord’s hand. He was in his master’s house when he was tempted by Potipher’s wife to sleep with her (Genesis 39:6-7). Joseph refused, thus passing the test. With Jesus, he was tempted without sinning as well in Matthew 4. He was tempted three times and did not give in.
Joseph was then accused of trying to rape her, which was not the case at all. Joseph was being falsely accused and he was thrown in prison (Genesis 39:20). In a similar manner, Jesus was also accused of things he did not do and also accused of being king of the Jews which he was (Matthew 27:11).
In all these ways, and possibly more, Joseph serves as a pattern of Jesus the Messiah. Jesus was despised and rejected by his own people and ultimately put to death for our sins. We can look at the Joseph story as a reminder of who Jesus and what he did and continues to do for us.