During my time with the Lord this morning I rehearsed one of my memory verses, "As for you, you meant evil against me. But God meant it for good, to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive" (Genesis 50:20).
You might remember the context. Many years earlier, Joseph's brothers planned to kill him, but sold him into slavery instead. And now, Joseph is vice-regent of Egypt, and his brothers are afraid he might decide it's payback time.
Joseph did not dilute his brothers' sin. He recognized it -- and he forced them to do the same. But Joseph also looked beyond the past and to the power of God to turn even evil into something good.
As I reflected on Joseph's words, my gaze drifted to the crucifix on the wall in front of my couch and recognized the connection.
The people who cried out, "Crucify Him. Crucify Him" meant it for evil. But God -- oh! But God meant it for good, to bring about the present result that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord -- anyone who recognizes his or her complicity in Jesus' death -- will live forever.
Who can ever understand the power, the mercy, the love of God?