Poor Joseph had a problem. He was always losing his coat. This might seem silly to you, but it was very important to him.
You see, Joseph was the second-youngest of a big family that was rather wealthy. Joseph had a very special coat. The coat was very expensive, and materials from craftsmen of far away probably had to be imported at high costs. This might seem like worthless information, except none of his brothers, older or younger, had one like it. Not that they could afford it. Wealthy as they might be, they were a nomadic family who had large expenses. Frivolous spending was not the best thing.
Needless to say, the brothers were a bit miffed. Reuben, the oldest, had done something really brainless and had been demoted. So had little brothers Simeon & Levi (Matthew) so really the right of the firstborn was supposed to go to Judah, the next in line. Coats like Joseph’s were supposed to go to the firstborn, or at least the guy with the birthright.
Family matters were a little funny back then. The estate of the father were divided equally between all the heirs, except the firstborn got two shares. So basically, Judah wasn’t too happy to see that his 2/13ths of the inheritance might go to little brother. (he should have though about what big brothers Reuben, Simeon, and Levi thought about losing it to him)
Through that and other issues with Joseph, Judah eventually got most of the brothers on his side, except the oldest, Reuben. See, he was a schemer, which is how he got kicked out in the first place. Reuben saw the others’ murderous intent and decided to cash in on it. Eventually, he convinced Judah and the gang to throw Joseph into a pit.
So they did, but first they took his coat. Poor Joseph had already lost his coat once, but at the time didn’t think much of it. Reuben ran off to put his scheme into action, and the others sort of walked around until some traders came by, and well…
You know this story I’m sure. Joseph got sent to Egypt and for a while did very good. His master liked him, his work was blessed with the blessing of the patriarchs and he was promoted and promoted. He probably got a new coat around that time from his master to mark his position as chief executive.
He got in a tricky situation, and someone, a woman, attacked him, I mean jumped on him. Since he was an honorable man, he would not fight her, but ran. It must have been a struggle, and she must have had a pretty good grip, because in his hurry to get out of that situation (which was the best thing he could have done) she was left holding his coat.
In Joseph’s life, his coat was always used as evidence. The first time it was to prove that he was dead. The second, it was to prove that he was guilty.
We too have a coat. All our guilt and sin has been placed on us by ourselves, and we can never on our own erase it. On judgment day that coat will be used as evidence against us to prove we are guilty and deserve hellfire. But Christ, our savior, took our filthy rags and covered them with his coat of pure white.
But God doesn’t force us into heaven. To accept him has to be a choice. What do you choose?