Genesis 50:17-21, "‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them."
Through out the narrative of Genesis one finds Joseph's life pointing the reader to the coming of Christ.The final verses of the book of reminds us of the humility and substitution of Joseph on the behalf of his family. This reminds the reader of Christ's humility in Philippians 2:5-11, "where Christ humbled himself to the point of death, death on the cross." Christ being fully God and fully man was unconcerned about keeping his God-given attributes, but desired to fully keep the Father's will by coming to a sin cursed world, keeping the law fully, and bearing the wrath of the Father by humbling himself under His heavy hand.
Not only did Joseph's life point us to the humility of Christ, but also to the substitution of Christ. "He who knew no sin, became sin for us..." (2 Cor.5:21). The substitutionary death of Christ can be seen in the life of Joseph, as he substituted himself for his brothers. He was willing to stand in the gap for his brothers as they were desperate and hopeless in their situation. This is where poor sinners find ourselves. We are hopeless and helpless in our sin. And unless Christ stands in the gap for us we are doomed. We find ourselves in the place of Joseph's brothers who were evil and in need of forgiveness.
Do you find yourself in the place of Joseph's brothers? Evil. Transgressor of God's holy law? Think about how evil men killed God's Son and you could place yourself there at the crime. For had you and I been there we would have yelled, "crucify him, crucify him," unless God had opened our eyes to see him as the substituted Savior. Have you repented and believed upon the only One who can save? Have you asked him to forgive you this day of your evil and transgressions? "Call upon the name of the Lord and thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:13)."