‘Joseph said …, I am Joseph; … And his brethren … were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said …, Come near to me … And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved … that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.’ Genesis 45:3–5
Suggested Further Reading: James 4:1–10
Every time you prefer the pleasures of this world to the joys of heaven, you spit in the face of Christ; every time when to gain in your business, you do an unrighteous thing, you are like Judas selling him for thirty pieces of silver; every time you make a false profession of religion, you give him a traitor’s kiss; every word you have spoken against him, every hard thought you have had of him, has helped to complete your complicity with the great crowd which gathered around the cross of Calvary, to mock and jeer the Lord of life and glory. Now, if there be any sin which will make a man deeply penitent, I think that this sin when it is really brought home to the conscience will affect us. To slay him who did me no hurt, the holy and the harmless One! To assist in hounding to the tree the man who scattered blessings with both his hands, and who had no thought, nor care, nor love, save for those who hated him. To pierce the hands that touched the leper, and that broke the bread, and multiplied the fishes! To fasten to the accursed wood the feet which had often carried his weary body upon painful journeys of mercy! This is base indeed, but when I think he loved me, and gave himself for me, that he chose me, before the stars were made, and that I, when he came to me in the gospel, should have rejected and despised, and even mocked at him, this is intensely, infinitely cruel. Jesus, thou dost forgive me, but I can never forgive myself for such a sin as this.
For meditation: Consider the effect of Christ’s crucifixion upon those who mourn their guilt in it (Zechariah 12:10; 13:1; Acts 2:36–37). Are you washed from your sin by his blood (Revelation 1:5) or does your guilt wash off you like water off a duck’s back (Acts 4:10,18; 5:30,40)? Many will regret it when it is too late (Revelation 1:7).
Sermon no. 449
11 May (1862)