Reflections: Joseph, Patriarch

March 31,  2023

Today’s Reading:  

Daily Lectionary: Ex. 5:1-6:1, Mark 15:33-47

Mark 15:34: “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?””

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It’s the commemoration of St. Joseph, but the Bible story is Jesus. It’s the wrong story, except it’s not. Joseph is a story about descent and then resurrection to save his people. It’s Jesus.  It’s Jesus when He is turned on by His brothers and left for dead. It’s Jesus when God works this for good. It’s Jesus when Joseph points to a savior in dreams, because the dreams are about the real Savior, the Christ. It’s Jesus when Joseph becomes a prisoner unrighteously. It’s Jesus when he becomes a servant. It’s Jesus when all this sin committed against an innocent man is somehow worked to save the same sinners. It’s Jesus when he is at last restored.  

The crucifixion is the story of all of scripture. It points to the redemption of sinners in so many ways. We remember Joseph, the Patriarch, because he was a forerunner of his Savior, our Savior, the Savior of all the world who was betrayed and mocked, condemned to bear the cross for you.  

Where it looked as if God had forsaken Joseph, as years passed by, God was at work. Where it looks like God has forsaken you, remember. We are not the Christ anymore than Joseph was. Joseph was not forsaken. Jesus was. He is the fulfillment of the things Joseph’s life only pointed to. When you feel far from God, abused, and cast aside, understand this is the image of your Savior, but God is not far off. He is very near, because it is here that He fulfilled all of these things and did them for you.  

We have a God who not only works good out of evil, as He did in the life of Joseph, and chiefly in the suffering and death of His Son, but we have a God who promises not to be far off when evil is at hand.  That’s where He draws closest so that He can save. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Down through the realm of darkness He strode in victory, And at the hour appointed He rose triumphantly. And now, to heav’n ascended, He sits upon the throne Whence He had ne’er departed, His Father’s and His own. (Christ is the World’s Redeemer, LSB 539:3)

 Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.