Of all the pictures of Jesus in the Old Testament, Joseph is one of the easiest to see. Most of us that have attended Sunday School at all in our lives have learned the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. It is a staple of church skits and plays. Perhaps the ultimate underdog story, people love the story of Joseph because of its triumphant ending. That alone should make us raise an eyebrow, for truimph is the essence of the Gospels.

Without recounting the entire account of Joseph (read it starting in Genesis 37), this list of parallels makes his story deserving of much study. As you will see, the list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Joseph was hated by his brothers. Jesus was despised by His brothers.

  • Joseph was stripped of his coat. Jesus was stripped of his garments at the cross.

  • Joseph was imprisoned unjustly. Jesus was tried unlawfully by the Sanhedrin.

  • Joseph was not recognized by his brothers after his career was "resurrected". Jesus was not recognized after His resurrection.

  • Joseph became salvation to the "entire" world - both Egypt and the outlying lands, because he controlled the bread. Jesus is the salvation of the world. He IS the bread of life.

  • Joseph was raised to the right-hand of pharaoh. Jesus was raised to the right-hand of the Father.

These are but a few similarities, and certainly enough to foreshadow the Messiah well-before His arrival!