Then Joseph said to his brothers, “. . . [D]o not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”
The story of Joseph is one of the most extraordinary accounts in the entire Bible. Sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph endures years of twists and turns until he finds himself serving in the extraordinary position of Prime Minister in Egypt. When famine strikes the region, his brothers come to Egypt looking to purchase food. The climax of the account arrives when Joseph finally reveals to his brothers who he really is. The sheer emotion of the scene is potent.
As soon as he reveals his true identity, however, Joseph displays a deep concern. His brothers are now in shock. They are now having to confront the terrible thing they did to Joseph so many years ago. Joseph is afraid that the distress and despair his brothers feel will overwhelm them.
Perhaps you have never sold a sibling into slavery. Chances are excellent, however, that you, too, have dark moments in your past. Maybe it’s something you said or did. Maybe it’s something you failed to say or do. Maybe there was a long period when you were too arrogant, lazy, afraid, or self-absorbed to do all kinds of things you should have been doing all along.
Such dark moments are perfect weapons for the devil. With them, he can smother you with guilt and block out the light of hope. With them, he can isolate and shove you into the solitary confinement of despair.
Enter Jesus. On our behalf, God the Son lived the kind of life you and I have failed to live. In our place, God the Son suffered and died for our every sinful failure, our every wasted moment. And now he lives. He lives to assure you and me that the old enemies of guilt and regret and despair no longer have the final word. Jesus does.
Lord Jesus, by nature I was once your enemy. But now you have made me your friend. Your blood has washed my guilt away. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. Amen.