Currently, I am reading the book of Exodus. In the very opening of this book, we see what happens when God is in something, and this is very good news. Here’s the passage to which I’m referring.
Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.Exodus 1:6–7
The Purpose of a Seed is to Die
This passage tells us at least two things about God. First, this passage is a demonstration of Christ’s death and resurrection. God intended for us to see Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection in this passage of Exodus; it did not just accidentally happen; God made the Israelites increase greatly.
When the Holy Spirit led Moses to write that Joseph and his generation died, He was pointing into the future when Jesus would die. Within Jesus’ narrative in John 12:24, Jesus wove the future of His death and resurrection, and result that would happen when He arose. I like to think that Jesus remembered the passage in Exodus and grinned to Himself when He said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.John 12:24
So here in Exodus, 2,600 years before Jesus, God created a foreshadow of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We see Christ’ death in the death of Joseph because Joseph’s entire life is a “type” of Jesus.
Do you recall Joseph being thrown into a pit – a symbol of Jesus’ death – and then being brought out – a symbol of Christ’s resurrection? In “death” Joseph departed from the world in which he had been born, and in “resurrection” Joseph entered into the ministry God prepared for him.
In Joseph’s death God placed another “type”. The death of Joseph and his generation pointed to the death of Jesus. And when the Israelites were fruitful and increased God pointed forward in time to the fruit of Jesus’ work after He arose from the grave.
Killing the Old Man
In both Exodus 1:6–7 and John 12:24 Jesus is telling us about His salvation for us! Jesus is saying to us that the way to grow spiritually in Him is only found when we stop our worldly thoughts and actions – we symbolically kill them. The closeness of our relationship with Jesus is predicated on our faith in Him. We must kill the old man or woman we were before Jesus made us alive by God’ salvation. As I’ve written before. Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.3 John 1:2
God Finishes What He Starts
God is not in the “name it and claim it” or “prosperity” heresies, but whatever God is in produces much fruit. You may be working in a field that is stony and appears to be fruitless, but rest assured, if God called you to that field, it shall produce much fruit. You may not see it. It may not become apparent until after you’re gone. But God finishes EVERYTHING He starts, and when He is in it, it produces much fruit. Jesus told us:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.John 15:7–8
This verse is for us, if, in fact, we are saved and living as His disciples. Jesus said, “my disciples.” So, be amazingly encouraged. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)” Anyone or anything that God is in prospers. This is the nature of life. Life produces more life. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4)”
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