March 20, 2022 | Mike Avato
Passage: Genesis 44:1-45:5
This is the climax of the Joseph narrative. Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, but not until after he sees them pass the final test. Joseph was not sure if his brothers had really changed...until now.
The story of Joseph spans 14 chapters of Genesis. But here in chapters 44 and 45 we see the climax of God's providence and grace at work in Joseph's family. Not only do we see the character of Joseph's brothers, we also see the brokenness of Joseph for his family.
According to Oxford mathematician John Lennox said this,—“is one of the most moving scenes in all the world’s literature.”
We should marvel at the patience of Joseph allowing the pressure of the famine and love of family to transform his brothers bringing repentance and reconciliation. It was a costly process for Joseph. The emotional strain was nearly unbearable. We should expect some cost to be incurred when seeking repentance and reconciliation in this life. Jesus came to bring these to us. The cost he paid was his life. And it is His kindness leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Paul the apostle tells us that He "was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification." (Rom. 4:25) Simply put, Joseph paid a high cost to reconcile his brothers, but Jesus paid the ultimate price. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We know Jesus was treated as if he was a sinner so that we could be treated as if we were not. This is the climax of the story of God. That sinners be reconciled to God by the work of His very own son. God retains all the glory for the salvation of sinners. What is our part? In many ways we are like Judah saying in Genesis 44:16, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out the guilt of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” Our guilt can only be matched by the grace of God that forgives, reconciles, and saves...a wretch like me and you.