These are the words that close the Book of Genesis. All of it’s recorded dealings of God with Israel, all the promises, and all the glories of the Patriarchal line, end with the “Bones of Joseph being in a coffin in the land of Egypt.” It is very important, for the impact of this lesson that we realize that a period of about 300 years intervened between the last event of Genesis, and the opening of the Book of Exodus. During all that time Israel was left with two things to help them carry on: (1). A Mummy, (2). A Hope.

   The elaborately embalmed body of Joseph laid in it’s coffin, somewhere in the land of Goshen, in care of the Israelites. They were to be ready to carry that coffin with them at a moment’s notice (Vss. 24, 25). FOR THREE CENTURIES that silent Coffin in Egypt, which contained the bones of Joseph, PREACHED SOME VERY IMPRESSIVE MESSAGESTHESE MESSAGES STILL LIVE AND ARE MUCH NEEDED TODAY!



    The Egyptians were preoccupied with death. The land was filled with tombs, but the body of Joseph was not laid in one of them. More than likely his body was kept somewhere in sight. For all of Israel to see. This is so important for us today in the Church. The Israelites, for 300 years were told the last words of Joseph were, I Die.” This great man, that had done so much for God, and His people, “Was now dead.”

Joseph is preaching to us, from his coffin, and he is saying, “No matter how important any of us might be, No matter how important others might think we are, WE WILL DIE! We are all mortal, and there will come a day when we, like Joseph, will no longer walk this earth. We can do all within our power to wish it away, but death is a fact of life.


   Think about that! Israel could survive the loss of one of it’s greatest leaders, AND THE WORK OF THE LORD WILL STILL CONTINUE, THE WORK OF THE LORD WILL CONTINUE WITHOUT THEIR PRESENCE! This implies two great lessons that the Church, in many places, has ignored.

     (1). Those who are in the position of authority today NEED TO BE TRAINING OTHERS TO FOLLOW IN THEIR STEPS AFTER THEY ARE GONE! (2 Timothy 2:2) “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”

    (2). Knowing that all men die, our youth need to have an “Attitude,” of “Preparation”, to fill those shoes that are empty (2 Timothy 2:15) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the word of truth.”




Joseph’s final instructions to his people was that his mummified body would be carried away with them when they went to inherit the land promised to their fathers. By faith, Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”


That silent Preacher, in his coffin, for three Centuries was preaching to his people this lesson: Have hope. God is faithful and will perform the words He has promised His people, whom you are.” But there was so many reasons for that hope to fade from the hearts of the people! As the years, decades and Centuries trickled by, the promise of a promise land must have seemed farther and farther from fulfillment. Some “Film of Doubt,” must have crept over, Hope’s Bright Eyes.” New dynasties were reigning. The people sank deeper and deeper into slavery. It must have become near impossible to believe that the road to deliverance, ran through the land of Goshen!


But through all those dark days of Israel’s history, there stood, “The Coffin,” with the bones of Joseph, as a token that one day God would visit them, and deliver them to their “Promised Home.” THAT IS A GREAT LESSON FOR US ON HOPE!


But I want to suggest to you that we have a greater lesson on “Hope,” today. It has been 2,000 years since these words of Christ were written: I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” There are those “Doubters,” referred to in (2 Peter 3:3-11) who say, Where is the sign of His coming. Everything continues on as from the beginning.”


In the context of “Hope,” why is it so important that Christians assemble every Sunday to partake of the Lord’s Supper? It is for the same reason that the Israelites remembered the Bones of Joseph,” and his words to them: God will surely visit you.” Jesus has given to us a Memorial Feast,” that we are to consider, just as the children of Israel had the “Bones of Joseph.” “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF MEJesus said. REMEMBER WHAT? His great sacrifice, YES! But that is not all! We are also to remember what the Apostle Paul said in (1 Corinthians 11:26) “For as often as you eat this Bread, and drink this Cup you show forth the Lord’s Death UNTIL HE COMES!”


Can those Christians we refer to as “Believers,” actually be “Non-Believers?” Yes, they can! Why? Because they live, and serve God as if Christ is never going to return. They live as if Christ will never sit in Judgment on a Judgment Day. They live as if everything the Bible teaches about how the Christian is to live, has no meaning. So, you see how important living the Christian life really is? Can you see how important partaking the “Memorial Feast,” of our Lord is?

I hope this example of Joseph will encourage us to remain “Hopeful,” as we await the return of Jesus.