At the end of Genesis, Joseph faintly pictures what Adam should have done and become, and in so doing he pictures Jesus, the second Adam, the last Adam, come to restore the human race. Where Adam listened to the voice of his wife, Joseph refused to listen to Potiphar’s wife enticing him. Likewise, Jesus did not listen to the temptations of the Devil. Where Adam was exiled and made to labor and toil the ground until he died, Joseph was sold into slavery, and then thrown into prison for false accusations, but then he was raised to the right hand of Pharaoh. Likewise, Jesus was rejected by His own, falsely accused, and crucified, but God raised Him from the dead, and He is now seated at the Father’s right hand forever.
And to the significance of this table, where Adam was barred from the tree of life, fellowship with God, and made to labor for his food, Joseph provided bread for the world during a severe, seven year famine. And likewise, Jesus has given Himself as the Bread of Life, for the life of the world. Where sin and death is a constant famine, Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and He invites us to His table week after week: to eat and drink and fellowship for no cost. Come everyone who thirsts, come buy and eat without money, without price (Is. 55:1).
In many ways, we are like Joseph’s treacherous family, and while we don’t like to admit it, we would have been just like Jesus’ disciples, fleeing for our lives and denying Him while the cock crows. And we have in many ways in our thoughts, in our attitudes, in our words, and in our actions. But Jesus is the Greater Joseph, and He recognizes us despite all our sin. He recognizes us as His own family. And sets a table for us, and the table is full of grace, forgiveness, and blessing. Are you hungry? Then come. Do you need grace? Then come. We are all a little like old Jacob full of fear and despair, and this table is like the wagons that Joseph sent out to his father. Here it is proclaimed to us: Jesus is alive. He is risen from the dead. Come, there is plenty of grace, plenty of bread, plenty of wine, and He has prepared a place for you.