The Three Faces of Forgiveness – Part 1

Walk in Wisdom � Gleanings from Scripture
Gen. 45.8 � �So it was not you who sent me here, but God.�

I never fail to be moved at the reunion of Joseph with his brothers in this
chapter. I know I would have played them out a LOT farther than he did. And I
was struck again today by the 3 main things he communicates to them � and
how Christ-like they are. The first is in vs 5 � �Do not be distressed or angry
with yourselves because you sold me here.� There is so much that goes under
the cloak of Christ in our day which does just the opposite. It is religion built
upon keeping Christians distressed and angry with themselves over Christ�s
death. By virtue of Joseph�s type of Christ here � we find He, our Lord, is not
interested in ongoing psychological self-flagellation over our sin being the cause
of His death at Calvary. No, we ought never lose sight of it in terms of gratitude
for His willingness and the final glory of its atoning outcome. But He does not
rule us by guilt and shame, but by love. He not only prefers we not live there �
He goes so far as to command it! He knows the tendency of the sinful heart to
indulge in such things as a means to deserve our salvation by being sorry
enough for our sin. The truth is, we could NEVER be sorry enough for our sin. It
is in fact a subtle form of justifying ourselves. Second, He knows the evil of an
enemy who knows if He can keep God�s people in perpetual mourning over their
own sinfulness, that they�ll never share the Gospel with others in joy, because
they�ve lost any they had anyway. If he (Satan) can get us to evangelize only
out of duty or guilt, he has won the battle. For nothing will move us to move
others. Third, the Father knows the sinful desires of some to rule Christ�s sheep
themselves � and such means of keeping people from ever really rejoicing in
and being comfortable with the finished work of Christ � keeps them off balance
and easily to manipulate. So after Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, what is
the very first thing he does? He points them away from their sin, and to the God
who in His grace used their own wickedness as the very means to show them
even more grace and love. Mind boggling, isn�t it? And by extension � can�t we
hear the voice of Jesus doing the same? I want that heart too, don�t you?


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