Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Way of the Cross (4)

The story of Joseph reminds us of the Lord Jesus in so many ways. Rejected and mistreated by his brothers, sold for a price, falsely accused, declaring God's word, forgotten, yet raised to the place of honour, in order to save so many people. Joseph is also our next step on the way to Calvary, specifically his words at the very end of the affair.

Joseph's father has died, and now his brothers are fearful that Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself, will get his revenge for what they did to him all those years ago. Mistreating him, selling him into slavery in Egypt, and all the rest. They come to Joseph and concoct a story that Jacob / Israel had commanded Joseph to forgive his brothers - in fact, it wasn't needed at all. In Joseph's reply, we find the strange link between two seemingly opposed realities - man's freedom and God's purpose:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20)

The full expression of evil came from the brothers - that was their intention. Yet God was even able to use their evil for the accomplishment of his plan for good, to save many people. Evil is still evil, yet God knows how it can be turned for good.

Isn't that what we see at the cross of Calvary? The rejection of the Son of God, the full weight of the world's evil acting in unison against him. Yet marvelously, wonderfully, it is through the evil of the cross that our salvation was won.

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