“When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time. Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, ‘Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.’”Genesis 46:29–30 (NLT)
When I was a teenager I worked as a disc jockey at a rock radio station. One of the popular songs of the day was “Reunited” by Peaches and Herb (yes, those really were their names). There is something that warms the heart when people are reunited—whether it is a couple, a band, family or friends.
One of the greatest reunions of all time was between Jacob (Israel) and his son Joseph. For twenty-two years Jacob had thought that his favored son had been torn to pieces by a wild animal. But all the while, God was raising Joseph up to save his people and make them a nation. Now Jacob traveled with his family of seventy to the land of Goshen in Egypt where Joseph was waiting for him with all the pomp and glory of the Egyptian prime minister. When Joseph saw his father, he fell on his neck and wept a good long while. After being reunited with his beloved son, Israel was now ready to depart this world (although God would keep him around another seventeen years).
Following the COVID pandemic, it was wonderful to see people returning to church who had been isolated for a long time. People were giving good, long hugs. Tears were flowing, and joy was overflowing. We would never again take our fellowship for granted. We were only separated for a matter of months. Imagine how it would feel to be separated from your son for twenty-two years and then finally reunited!
This reminds me of another famous reunion in the Bible:
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”Luke 15:20 (NLT)
We know that the father immediately clothed his son with the finest robe, a ring and sandals. He ordered his servants to kill the fatted calf and celebrate with a feast. “For this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.”
But these two great reunions pale in comparison to the family union we will have in heaven. First, we will see the face of Jesus. Now we love and worship Him from afar, but then we will be face to face! Now we know in part, but then we will know even as we are known (1 Corinthians 13:12). Second, we will see our loved ones who have died in Christ. How will they look? How will it feel to embrace them after so many, many years apart?
Truly, the best is yet to come. What a glorious reunion that will be!
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