We find the story of Joseph and his brothers, beginning in Genesis chapter 37-45.
Today let's focus on Genesis 45:1-5 and I would like to touch on the word “Grace.”
1: Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
2: And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3: And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
4: And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
5: Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
This is the moment of truth. Joseph has been working with his brothers. He has brought them to a place of conviction, compassion and confession. He has been testing them to see whether or not they have truly changed their ways. He sees that they have and he reveals himself to them.
This is a tense moment for the brothers of Joseph. Can you imagine the fear they felt as they stood before the brother they wronged and sold as a slave all those years ago? They know who he is and they know that he has the power to send them to prison, or even to their death, if he so chooses. What happens next is a great picture of grace.
The brothers of Joseph have entered the school of grace. They stand before Joseph deserving and expecting judgment, but they receive love and grace instead.
Joseph could have judged them for what they did to him. Instead, he forgave them and promised to bless them. As he listened to their confession of their past sins, Joseph realized that they had finally come to the place where they were genuinely sorry for what they had done to their brother all those years ago. He sees the changes and he refuses to make them suffer for a sin confessed.
He knows what they did was bad, but it was not so bad that it could not be forgiven by God or by him. Again, Joseph is a picture of the Lord and His grace.
This is just what happened when you and I came to Jesus by faith. The very instant we received Jesus and His salvation, our sins were immediately forgiven. He washed away every sin, and every stain of every sin. When He saved us, He cleansed every sin away for all time and for all eternity.