The text for this lesson is Genesis 49:29–50:14.
- Jacob requested burial in Canaan, rather than in Egypt, because Canaan was the land to which God had promised to send the One through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed—Jesus (Genesis 12:1–3; 46:2–4).
- Law: Death is a time of tremendous grief.
- Gospel: We do not grieve as those who have no hope, because Jesus has overcome death and the grave.
- Law: We ourselves must also face death. Gospel: Because Jesus died in our place, we can look ahead to God’s promised land of heaven.
- Law: How we deal with death—our own and that of a loved one—can sometimes give a witness of doubt, worry, and fear.
- Gospel: By God’s grace, comforted with the assurance of our resurrection in Christ, we are able to testify to the hope that is in us.
After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, their father Jacob presumed him dead (Genesis 37). However, the Lord preserved and prospered Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 39–41). After Joseph helped his brothers during a famine (Genesis 42–45), Jacob came to settle in Egypt (Genesis 46). Joseph and Jacob were happily reunited. Before Jacob died, he blessed his sons (Genesis 49:1–28).
The Messiah first promised to Eve (Genesis 3:15), then to Abraham (Genesis 12:7; Galatians 3:16), Isaac (Genesis 26:3), and Jacob—renamed Israel (Genesis 35:9–12), would come through Judah (Genesis 49:8–12). Matthew 1:1–2 traces Jesus’ lineage from Abraham to Judah. Matthew 1:17 presents Jesus as the promised Christ, “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).
Discussion Points and Questions
- Read Genesis 49:29–33. Why do you suppose Jacob wanted to be buried in Canaan?
- Read Genesis 50:1–14. What did Jacob’s family do after his death?
- Why did Joseph ask permission from Pharaoh to bury his father?
- How do we mourn today when someone dies?
- How does God help us deal with the thought of our own death and the deaths of people we love? What comfort does Jesus’ death and resurrection give to you?
- What truth about eternal life is revealed in John 3:36?
- If we have eternal life now, what happens on the Last Day? See Romans 8:18 and 1 Cor. 15:52.
- How do Jesus’ words in John 11:25-26 provide you comfort and hope?
- How did God work through these humans to provide for His people?
For next week, read 1 Samuel 16:11; 17:32–35 and Psalm 23. Reflect on David’s vocation as a shepherd and Jesus’ role as our Good Shepherd.