[part 1 can be read here]
Jacob of course was devastated. But the brothers stuck to their story, lied and deceived their dad for years.
The brother that they had resented, the brother that they had came to hate, was gone. He would never brother them again. Or at least that is what they thought.
We aren’t told this in Scripture, but you and I can imagine the guilt that these brothers carried. Guilt about selling their brother to slave traders. guilt about lying and deceiving their dad. Every time Joseph’s birthday came around, there was another reminder of what they had done. The guilt was overwhelming.
Perhaps you are thinking about an incident in your life right now that you wish you had never done. Maybe you lay awake in bed thinking about what you have done and wishing you could do over. wishing you had a second chance. Well, I am happy to tell you that you can have a second chance. Oh, you may not be able to redo the thing that you wish you could have undone, but you don’t have to carry the guilt anymore. The Bible tells us about Jesus. And that he came to take away the sin of the world. The guilt that you carry, you don’t have to continue to carry. the sin that you have done? You can be forgiven of that sin.
Years later, there was a famine in the land. People were starving and Joseph was no longer a slave. He became the second most powerful man in Egypt. It’s an incredible story! The brothers went to Egypt to get some food. They had no idea that their little brother that they had resented and hated and even sold into slavery was now the one in charge of who got to buy food. But there they were. Needing food. Needing substance to continue life or they would starve.
The story leads us to a scene of them standing before Joseph, and he took off his Egyptian fancy robes and showed them who he was. They fell to their knees and place their heads on the floor kneeling before him. Can you imagine the emotions of how they felt? Here was the one person they figured they would never see again. Everything that they had done to Joseph all of those years ago was now racing through their minds. How would he treat them? Did they deserve forgiveness? All of these thoughts were in their minds.
Joseph, the one they had sold into slavery, is now in the position of giving or not giving them the food they need to live.
Joseph says, “brothers, I forgive you. Stand up, erase that guilt from your memory. I forgive you.”
To me this is one of the most powerful scenes in Scripture! The brothers standing in front of someone who they had done evil to. And that person, Joseph saying, “I forgive you. I give you grace. I give you mercy.” Wow! Grace overpowers resentment. grace destroys guilt.
What about you? Do you need mercy? Do you need grace? Do you need forgiveness? Has the grip of guilt overwhelmed you? I offer you the forgiveness of Jesus Christ! He alone can forgive sin. he is the only one who can give us a true second chance. I encourage you, pray to God. Give your life over to him. You will never regret this decision!