When Joseph told his brothers who he was they freaked out. They had to have, right? A couple decades ago in a moment filled with hate and fueled by jealousy they tied him up and sold him as a slave. They staged it to look like he had been killed by a wild animal and lied to their father about what had happened to his favorite son. Now they find themselves kneeling in front of the boy they had betrayed but this time he is the most powerful man in the world. This had to be terrifying. A sickening, hollow realization that you will now answer to the most powerful person in the world for what you've done, the life you've lived, the person you are. What they had done in secret, who they were inside, was now on public trial and their victim was also their judge.
The brothers had lived for decades under the shadow of fear that what they were really like might be found out. What if one day all your thoughts and all the desires of your heart and all that you have ever done is laid out and you stand before your accuser? All your excuses for what you have left undone will be revealed as paper thin and selfish. What if all the authority and power you think you have one day melts and you stand in front of the one that you have wronged most deeply? What will you do? What will that be like? This will happen one day. For you and for me. We will stand before the one that we have most deeply wrong with the things that we have done and the things that we have left undone. That is what is so deeply affecting about this week. Jesus will hang on a cross on the day we call Good Friday. He will suffer excruciating pain and be subjected to ironic humiliation and God's wrath. Like Joseph, he will suffer unjustly at the hands of those who hold some power over him. And soon, like Joseph, Jesus will be revealed to be far more powerful than anyone could have ever dreamed. And like Joseph he will say to his brothers, "What you intended for evil God intended for good." God intended the betrayal of Joseph to save millions from starvation. God intended the betrayal of his son to save millions from death and hell. Because of the evil of crucifixion you and I can hear the greatest words of love, "It is finished." All forgiven through faith and slaves made children of the king.