This week I am continuing our Old Testament sermon series by talking about the story of Joseph and “unbelievable” forgiveness.
In Genesis, chapter 50, Jacob dies and Joseph’s brothers get nervous. They are nervous that Joseph will unleash his fury since Jacob, the family patriarch, is now gone. So they tell Joseph that their dear ole dad has said that he is supposed to forgive them the wrongs they had done to him. The brothers then throw themselves down on the ground before Joseph and vow to be his slaves.
I have never really thought about why Joseph is weeping. But now I am wondering if Joseph is sad because after all these years of providing for them in Egypt his brothers still believe Joseph doesn’t really forgive them. When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers in chapter 45 he gave no indication he was going to lash out at them even though Joseph had the power to do so. But Joseph told his brothers not to be distressed or angry with themselves; this was part of God’s plan. Joseph showed nothing but love towards them by taking care of them through the terrible famine. Now…after all these years…the brothers still don’t believe Joseph really forgives them. If I were Joseph I think I would be sad as well.
I wonder if God weeps when we doubt his amazing forgiveness. I mean…there are times when I wonder if God actually forgives ALL my sins. Surely there is something that God holds on to. Surely there must be a limit to God’s patience. Forgiving ALL my sins? That almost sounds to good to be true…almost unbelievable.
But God says, “What more do I need to do to prove it to you? My beloved son, Jesus, died on a cross and rose from the grave to forgive your sins. I would think that would be proof enough.” And yet we have our doubts from time to time. God’s forgiveness of our sins, at times, almost seems unbelievable…there must be a catch.
But there is no catch.
When we go to God in confession, through Jesus Christ we have forgiveness…period. No strings attached. That, my friends, is pretty amazing. Unbelievable? Nope…it’s true. Through Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of ALL our sins.
So don’t be afraid and don’t be distressed. Go to God and know his amazing love for you…forever and ever. Amen.