6. Joseph: Coming to Die, Raised to Rule

Genesis 37.12-28; 41.39-44; 45.1-8; 50.20

Poor Jacob. Every Sunday schooled child knows that he shouldn’t have had a favourite but all the same it’s a terrible thing when a child is here one day and gone the next. It’s like the world has dropped out from beneath your feet.

Jacob lived with that pain for years and years.

The brothers too would probably have assumed that Joseph was dead. Slavery isn’t exactly conducive to a long and happy life. They were repentant by the time they met Joseph again many years later but I wonder if they ever talked about it in between, whether they laughed about it or whether it was their silent, guilty secret.

I’m off topic. The point is that Joseph was dead in their minds however they regarded the matter.

In the meantime Joseph has been bought, risen in status, been wrongly imprisoned, risen in status, been forgotten, been remembered, and risen far above anything he could have imagined. The king himself sat Joseph down at his right hand. There is another who is seated at the right hand of the King. You can fi d him in Hebrews 12.2 (in case you were wondering, yes, I am very fond of the book of Hebrews).

And then comes famine which spreads from Egypt right through Canaan and Joseph’s family are at risk of starvation. So on hearing about how the Egyptians have prepared and are selling grain, Israel sends his sons off to buy some food. There follows a wee backwards and forwards before Joseph finally reveals his identity.

But when the brothers are afraid, both here and after their father dies later on, Joseph says the same thing:

This was part of God’s plan so that you might live.

Do you see the parallel? Joseph’s brothers thought that they were killing him because they hated him, just as the Jews killed Christ because they hated him. But God allowed both attempted murders in order that many, many more would live. They died to save and were raised to rule.

Here is the pointer to Jesus. Unlike Joseph, he reigns even now, continuing to save and we should be coming to him like the brothers, repentant. If we do, he will give us life.

So why is Jesus coming? He came to die and has risen now to reign.

Today’s song: Behold Our God

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