For more than two decades, Joseph’s brothers lived in a state of anguish and remorse. They bore the guilt for their brother’s exile and their father’s suffering. Now everything seemed out of kilter. Somehow, the Egyptian governor’s cup had been found in their midst. So far as they knew, they must leave Benjamin behind in Egypt and break their father’s heart again. They felt humiliated in the eyes of the Egyptians, accused of theft and spying, helpless under the irrational whims of a Gentile ruler. Meanwhile, their families stood at the threshold of starvation back in Canaan. It felt to the brothers as if the whole world was coming apart around them. It must have seemed that God had utterly abandoned them.
The Jewish people have suffered in a similar manner in the centuries since the Messiah walked among us. Beginning with the Roman war and the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish people have suffered exile and humiliation under one capricious Gentile ruler after another.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” (Genesis 45:3)
Joseph’s revelation to his brothers foreshadows the messianic redemption to come. When the Egyptian ruler declared, “I am Joseph,” everything changed. The veil lifted from their eyes, and all the puzzle pieces fit together. Everything became clear as God’s master plan fell into place:
When Joseph said “I am Joseph,” God’s master plan became clear to the brothers. They had no more questions. Everything that had happened for the last twenty-two years fell into perspective. So, too, will it be in the time to come when God will reveal Himself and announce, “I am the LORD.” The veil will be lifted from our eyes and we will comprehend everything that transpired throughout history.” (Chofetz Chaim)
In that moment, the whole picture snapped into focus. They recognized God’s plan at work over the last twenty-two years. They saw how everything had been orchestrated for their own redemption. Joseph was not dead, he was alive. His blood was not on their hands at all. There was no stolen cup, and Benjamin was in no danger. They realized that Joseph’s prophetic dreams had been right all along, and they still had the opportunity to accept him in the role that God has placed him.
In a similar way, when Messiah reveals Himself to His brethren, God’s master plan will become suddenly manifest before all of us. We will recognize the centuries of trauma as the foundations of redemption. The Jewish people will realize that the Messiah has been with them all along, and there will still be time for them to accept Him in the role in which God has placed him. The Nations will recognize that Jesus is Jewish and inseparable from Israel.
The story of Joseph’s revelation depicts the day of King Messiah when He reveals Himself to His brothers and to all the world. “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), “that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).