“So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”NIV
“I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive.”
We read in Acts 1:3a about Jesus:
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.”
Here is another of those points in the Joseph story where we see a likeness to the Jesus story. How will people come to believe that Jesus is alive? Well, this is what struck me as I reflected on the passage early on Monday morning:
• The church must give its witness (26). We have to ‘tell’ them Jesus is “still alive”;
• We should encourage them to get back to the primary source (27a). We want them to hear Jesus for themselves; to listen to His words in the four gospels;
• There is also a place for pointing to the evidence (27b). There is no absolute proof. If there was we wouldn’t need faith. But there is such convincing evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, that many who were adamant they didn’t believe, were won over and came to faith in spite of their earlier prejudices. Frank Morrison is one such person. He wrote the classic, ‘Who moved the stone?’ He entitled the first chapter, ‘the book that refused to be written.’ He had intended to explain that the resurrection accounts were human inventions – fairy-tale endings to the matchless story of Jesus. But when he began to sift the evidence, his mind was changed, and he was honest enough to admit it. He is just one among many who could tell a similar story. In recent years, Lee Strobel has written many books on Christian apologetics. He said: “I owe Morrison a great debt of gratitude. Who Moved the Stone? was an important early link in a long chain of evidence that God used to bring me into his kingdom. Morison’s stirring intellectual exploration of the historical record proved to be an excellent starting point for my spiritual investigation.”
Every Christian can affirm that Jesus is alive, and we will “go and see” Him after we die. This is our glorious hope. We see Him now by faith, but one day we will see Him face to face.
‘Behold Jesus manifesting himself as a Brother and a Friend to those who once were his despisers, his enemies. He assures them of his love and the riches of his grace. He commands them to lay aside envy, anger, malice, and strife, and to live in peace with each other. He teaches them to give up the world for him and his fulness. He supplies all that is needful to bring them home to himself, that where he is they may be also. And though, when he at last sends for his people, they may for a time feel some doubts and fears, yet the thought of seeing his glory and of being with him, will enable them to say, It is enough, I am willing to die; and I go to see, and to be with the Beloved of my soul.’ Matthew Henry.