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Originally published March 6, 2013shadow son

Once, there was a father who sent his beloved son on a journey far away from home. The son was to seek out the father’s other children who had been separated from the father for quite some time. Quite willingly, the son went.

But when the son arrived at his destination, he found that his brothers had strayed away from where they were supposed to be, seeking greener pastures. So the son went after them and found them. He met them right where they were.

His brothers saw their father’s favored son coming for them. They hated him and everything he said and stood for because they knew he was to be in authority over them. It had been foretold. They conspired to kill him and bury him in a pit. Then, the prophecy of his authority over them would not come true.

The brothers stripped him of his robe and drenched it in the blood of an animal they had sacrificed for this purpose. They stripped him of his dignity, his favored status, and, if possible, his father’s love and approval. It was an attempted coup to knock the prince off his throne.

When they were finished, they threw him into a pit that had never held another man’s body. They sat down to eat, returning to life as usual.

But it wasn’t enough. Revenge is a meal that never satiates.

The brothers determined to turn the favored son over to a rough pack of wealthy heathens. They wouldn’t dirty their hands to kill him. Their brother’s life would rest in the hands of foreigners who had no part in their family line. And so the son’s fate was sealed.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Isaiah 53:8-9

His closest brother sold him out for pieces of silver, for the price of a slave. Life, as he knew it, was over.

Later, another brother would peer into the pit to see what had become of him. “He is gone!” the brother discovered to his great distress and sadness. Little did he know that the favored son had risen up out of the pit. He would rise in power to deliver the very brothers who had hated him and plotted his death, as well as myriads of others who didn’t even know him.

Who was this favored son? He is the One who has taken away our reproach and added us as sons and daughters into God’s family. He is Joseph, the forefather. He is Jesus, the Son.

Based on Genesis 37.

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