Joseph is Cast into Prison (Week 11, Part 5/7) Genesis 37–41 | Mar 7 – Mar 13 – powered by Happy Scribe
The Old Testament is full of people whose lives typify. Jesus Christ considered Joseph the son of Jacob. Joseph had a special connection with his father, just as Jesus did with his Joseph and Jesus were both betrayed by people who should have protected them. Joseph brought temporal Salvation to his family, just as Jesus brings spiritual Salvation to the entire human family today. I want to highlight a key similarity between Joseph and Jesus.
Both of them did good things, but as a result, things didn’t work out the way they might have hoped. Sometimes we have the expectation if I keep the Commandments, things will always work out in the short term the way I want them to. But Joseph’s life shows us that this isn’t always true. When Joseph was a servant in Egypt, he rose to a position of prominence in his household. He refused the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife and as a result, he was thrown into prison.
I wonder how Joseph felt when he went into prison. Perhaps during the first week he thought, Any day now God is going to deliver me. But what about the second week and the third and the 100th? Did Joseph ever give up hoping Joseph was in prison for more than two years? He did the right thing and his life got worse.
Sometimes when we do the right things, our situation gets harder. Can you relate? Like maybe when you were a teenager you watched a Church video where there were a bunch of kids watching a movie together. The music changes, signaling that something inappropriate was happening in the movie you watch as one of the teenagers says, hey guys, I don’t think we should watch this movie. And then his friends says, yeah, you’re right.
I was just thinking the same thing. Let’s go eat some ice cream. They eat ice cream and it’s awesome. So the next Friday night you’re at your friend’s house and something bad comes out of the movie and you say, hey guys, I don’t think we should watch this movie. And your friend says, Shut up.
And then you start crying and you go talk to your friend’s mom. Things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. Well, Joseph in Egypt, he can relate. He does the right thing and things go wrong for him. I love that he was still faithful, even in difficult times.
In that sense, Joseph is a type of Christ. Jesus did everything right and still suffered greatly. He taught truth, he healed, he loved, and often the result was ridicule. When you do the right thing and things don’t work out exactly the way you would hope. Joseph and Jesus can relate.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. But note that for both Jesus and Joseph, in the long term, things did work out. Because of his trials, Joseph saved his family. And because of Christ’s crucifixion, all humanity can be saved. Ultimately, we will be blessed for persevering through difficult challenges.
But sometimes those blessings don’t come until the next life. For reasons known only to God, some very good people face extreme challenges that are never fully resolved. Immortality. Many will suffer immense heartbreak. But these trials do not mean we are abandoned.
As Sister Sherry L. Du taught Christ atonement makes available all of the power, peace, light, and strength that we need to deal with life’s challenges. Those ranging from our own mistakes and sins to trials over which we have no control. But we still feel pain. This pain is part of life and it’s OK to be sad.
The scriptures tell us that both Jesus and Joseph wept and you and I will, too. But Jesus has promised that in the future he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more mourning and crying and pain will be no more. This promise is true.