In considering Joseph as a “type” of Christ we saw that he was a son, shepherd and servant … as was Jesus. Today we want to see the “type” in the shape of being “sold”. Remember the hatred and jealousy his brothers had for Joseph? His father sends him to enquire as to the wellbeing of the brothers as well as the flock. He arrives in Schechem (37:14 end). He seeks help to locate his brothers and is directed to Dothan. (v15-17). As he approached them they identified him in the distance because of his coat (robe – v23). The brothers devise a plan to kill Joseph and blame it on a wild animal adding mockingly … “Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” (v18-20). Israel’s first born son, from Leah, tries to protect this first born son of Rebekah by putting him into a well in the desert. (21-22 and 24) His intention was to come to Joseph’s aid and take him back to daddy. Why would he do this?
Ge 35:22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.
Remember that although God never sanctioned polygamy, Bilnah was considered a wife of Israel. Reuben’s sin was found out and although we are not told what happened between father and son, it seems Reuben in trying to save Joseph to redeem himself with daddy because Joseph was daddy’s most loved son. The brothers followed the plan, imprisoning Joseph in a well. (v22-23). Although they came up with this evil plan, God overruled and provided another way out for Joseph. At first it seems cruel, but God does not work as man works. His plans are ingenious.
Ge 37:25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
What seems to be Judah’s idea is actually God using him to protect God’s plan for developing a nation for Himself and even more … protecting the “bloodline” to Messiah!
Ge 37:26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
Right here we see a great miracle unfolding … even though reading this passage alone does not reveal it. You need to read the Biblical account from Genesis 12 through to 50 to capture the miraculous.
Ge 37:28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
Joseph was sold for 20 shekels of silver. Here the “type” is found … for in Matthew 26 we read:
Mat 26:14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Where Joseph’s bothers hated him and were terribly jealous of him, and earned 20 shekels blood money for him … Judas Iscariot was a thief. His god was money. He did anything for money. Think through the passage in John 12:3-6 when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the expensive perfume.
Jn 12:4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
The last verse tells us all about him. With Joseph there were 12 brothers … 11 were guilty of him being sold whilst Jesus had 12 disciples and only one sold Jesus out. Some may think it strange that Jesus chose Judas, yet we read:
Jn 6:70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
This had to happen. To create a nation during a famine that would come, God took Joseph to Egypt. (Genesis 45:4-9). Verse 5 … “it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” And verse 7 … “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” Joseph needed to be sold. Now do you see the miracle in Genesis? Jesus needed to be sold too. The time was right for His earthly ministry to come to its climax. The exit plan was carefully designed by God. This is the reason Jesus chose Judas. Judas’ end was prophesied about by David in the Psalms and Acts 1v25 says he went to where he belongs. God used him who was a devil and a thief to sell Jesus out which led to Jesus’ death! Yet through His death He saves many souls for eternal life. The only way back to God is through the Blood Stained Cross. Without the shedding of Blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Joseph was a “type” of Christ, for him being sold led to many lives being saved. Jesus was the Christ and through Him many souls are saved for eternity! The third aspect to being “sold” relates to you and me. The Law of God was good. It showed man he was a sinner for no man could keep the Law. The Law exposed man’s depravity and inability to do anything good that would lead to salvation … why? Because:
Ro 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
We in our natural state are sold as slaves to sin and the only way out of that hopeless state was that Jesus be sold out for 30 silver coins so that the religious authorities could arrest Him, hauling Him before the Chief Priest and the Pilate to be sentenced to death. Although their acts were so wicked and they are responsible to God for this, this was God’s way to save a people for Himself.
O Lord God Almighty, Your ingenuity is beyond our human comprehension. Your plans are deeper and more intricate that man can plan. Thank You for the way Your Rescue Plan, designed before creation dovetails so perfectly, granting all believers such a perfect salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.