Joseph and Jesus: Part 5, You Intended Evil, But God Intended Good

This will be our last post drawing out Christological themes in the Joseph narrative, leaning upon Walter Brueggemann's commentary on Genesis.

We've talked about the themes of betrayal, passion, death and resurrection, all culminating in a grace and forgiveness that breaks with the past to give birth to a new future. Our last observation is how the actors in the human drama, intent on doing evil, are used by God for creative, redemptive purposes.

God plays a very long game in the Joseph narrative. Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery, expecting to never hear from him again. It's a wicked, evil act.

And yet, many years later, that evil act becomes the means of their salvation and deliverance. Ruling in Egypt, Joseph finds himself positioned to save his family from starvation. The covenantal promises that God made to Abraham are about to die, but God makes a way toward life. God uses the wicked, evil act to restore, deliver and save. And save not just this one family, but all nations who will one day be blessed through this family.

As Joseph declares to his brothers (Genesis 50.20):
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
The Christological parallels should be obvious.

What humanity did to Jesus upon the cross was a wicked, evil thing. But what we intended for evil, God intended for good in order to accomplish what is now being done.

The saving of many lives.

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