The Guilty Conscience
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 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. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Even after Joseph tearfully made peace with them and brought them to Egypt, his brothers fear retribution. He must give them reassurance that he holds nothing against them. Not only that, but he sees what they did as necessary for the entire family’s survival.
Likewise, Jesus is not harboring resentment for having to die for our sins. This allows us to be Christ’s ambassadors, declaring to the world that God is not holding their sins against them. If they believe, then they receive that benefit. If not, they will continue to live in the prison of fear.
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