Jacob’s family was a mess. There were murders. Couples betrayed each other. And a father abandoned his daughter-in-law. There was much hurt, little forgiveness, lots of selfishness—and no repentance.

Jacob’s sons even sold their brother, Joseph. Still, God had a plan. He used Joseph in Egypt to save many people from starving, including Jacob’s family.

But there’s more. At Joseph’s big moment with his brothers in Egypt, Judah offered to become a slave in place of Benjamin. Judah showed love for his father and brothers, and sorrow for his past sins. It touched Joseph’s heart. He cried and forgave his brothers.

You see, God’s plan included healing their hurt and helping the whole family forgive each other and repent.

Jesus is something like his ancestor, Judah. When we were doomed to die in slavery to sin, Jesus said, “Take me instead.” He died in our place to save us. And like in the Joseph story, he doesn’t stop with just saving us from death.

Our salvation in Jesus is big and full. It includes giving us new hearts that love him for what he’s done and are eager to repent. No matter what kind of mess our lives become, in Jesus we have hope for change. He makes us able to love and forgive each other.

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