Last Sunday Russell encouraged us to look at how Joseph’s life acted as a predictor of our Lord Jesus, and how God’s predictions were fulfilled through Christ’s suffering, his glory, and the salvation he made available to us all.

In today’s world we might turn to weather predictions to try to help us plan our days. Sometime they are right. Other times they can prove to be wrong. A forecast of heavy snowfall maybe sets us thinking about days off work, school or college. When a meagre sprinkling of a just little snow falls instead we end up with chaos as we try to press on with our “normal” lives.

God’s predictions are different. They are rock solid. In Genesis we find crucial predictions, told through the life of Joseph, a man not unfamiliar with predictions himself. His whole life was a prediction of things to come, of Christ, and his suffering, his apparent demise, and his return to provide salvation. Indeed, Joseph’s name, in Egyptian, means “one who reveals……, and saves.”

Since Jesus died, and returned, as predicted through Joseph’s life, many have been saved through the Gospel message. As John reports (John 12:24), “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Joseph was a shepherd (Gen 37:2). Jesus said he was a shepherd too (John 10:14). He said he was a shepherd whose sheep knew him. So we humbly remember him, as sheep, recognizing his voice. And do we love him deeply and passionately, reflecting how well we know him? Do we know him as well as our best friend, sharing our problems with him? We can.

What goods were the Ishmaelite traders carrying with them to sell, when Joseph was sold to them? Gen 37:25 – spices, balm, myrrh, as used in mummification in Egypt, to preserve the bodies of the dead. These items were not produced locally, but brought in, from across the desert….

Later, when Joseph’s family joined him in Egypt, they were given the choice lands of Goshen. This favouring of the people was despite them being shepherds – people the Egyptians detested. Jesus, too, was favoured by his Father, despite the “world” hating him. Indeed, his cloak was fought over, just as Joseph’s had been.

Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams was a gift from God. He acknowledged this: Gen 40:8 – “do not interpretations belong to God”. He effectively positioned himself as the mediator between men and God. Just as Jesus is for us.

These and many other parallels between Joseph and Jesus all serve to help us come closer to Jesus, to improve our understanding of our saviour. God’s predictions are not vague, uncertain and unfulfilled. They are precise, sure and being fulfilled as history unfolds. We can put all of our faith in them.