Garry spoke this morning from Genesis 39:14-15, continuing his series on the life of Joseph and its parallels with the life of Jesus. In this section, we see Joseph wrongfully imprisoned and punished because of the slander of Potiphar’s wife. Joseph had not in fact seduced her or acted inappropriately around her, but he is nonetheless imprisoned. He was the one who was punished, though he was innocent of any crime.
This is true too of Jesus, who was pierced for our transgressions and crucified for our sins (see Isaiah 53:4-11). He took the punishment that should have been ours, though He was wholly without sin. He took our sins and paid the price for sin so that we can be healed from the penalty, power and ultimately even from the presence of sin. He carried our burdens – not just expecting us to share in carrying the load, but taking the whole load. He took on human flesh (John 1) and knowingly faced death becasue he judged that the benefits (our salvation) were worth it. The plan of salvation was hatched in heaven, but Jesus was a willing participant in this plan (see John 12, Heb 10:5-7, Heb 12:1-2). There was no joy in the suffering in itself, but He found joy in what would result from that suffering. Jesus freed us from a fear of death and therefore, like Joseph, He is the example of how to bear suffering and injustice. We are called to do the same, to rejoice in suffering for the Lord because we know He is working for good in every situation.