Offered as a Substitute (Genesis 44:33) - Radical

Offered as a Substitute (Genesis 44:33)

“Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my Lord. And let the boy go back with his brothers.” Wow, this is a pretty powerful verse when you stop and think about what Judah just said to Joseph.
– Genesis 44:33

So, leading up to this, oh, there’s a lot in the story. I don’t want to spend all the time recounting what has happened in this chapter. But, basically, at this point, Joseph is saying, “Leave Benjamin with me and you go back to your father.” And Judah steps up and he says, “Please let your servant remain.” In other words, let me remain, “Instead of the boy. And I’ll be your servant, Joseph.” And remember, Judah doesn’t know this is actually Joseph, his brother that he’s talking to right now. But he says, “Let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my Lord. And let the boy go back with his brothers.”

That is a radically different posture toward a younger brother than what Judah and his brothers displayed toward Joseph years ago. Think about it, Judah and his brothers sold Joseph into slavery. Now, Judah and his brothers have the opportunity to do the exact same thing with Benjamin. Just leave him here as a slave, and go back, live your lives. But Judah does something very different than what happened in Genesis 39. Here, Judah offers his own life as a substitute for Benjamin, so that Judah would be the slave instead of Benjamin.

Jesus Offered as a Substitute Sacrifice

Now, think about that picture on a much bigger level. Because one day a descendant would come from the line of Judah, who would offer Himself as a substitute sacrifice. But not for a family member. This descendant from Judah’s line would offer Himself as a substitute sacrifice for you. To set you and me free from the slavery of sin and death.

Jesus, from the line of Judah, would say, “I will lay down my life.” In the words of Philippians 2:5–11, who being in very nature, God did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing. Taking the very nature of a what? Of a servant. Being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death, on a cross. Jesus offered His life as a substitute sacrifice for you, for me, that we might have a relationship with God the Father. That we might be saved from the slavery of sin and death to experience eternal life.

Genesis 44:33 Praises Jesus as our Savior

I love reading through the Old Testament and seeing how it all, ultimately, points to Jesus as Savior and Lord. To Jesus as the Supreme One who is worthy of all of our worship and all of our praise.

So we pray. Jesus, we glorify Your name in a fresh way today. We worship Your name anew today, for You are the Savior and Lord of our lives. You are the Savior and Lord of the nations. We praise You for substituting Yourself as a sacrifice for our sins. For laying down Your life that we might be freed today. We might know freedom from the slavery of sin, and freedom from the fear of death.

God, that we might know eternal life in Your Kingdom. That we might know You, Oh God, our Father. That we might enjoy life in Your family forever. All glory be to Your name, Jesus, the lion of Judah, the lamb who was slain as a sacrifice for our sins, we praise You today. We will never, ever, ever tire of praising You. We praise You for Your Word, how Your Word points to You on every page.

Genesis 44:33 Prays for All Peoples to Recognize Jesus as Savior

And we pray that you’d help us to glorify You today. We pray You’d help us to make the good news of Your love known to other people around us today. God, we pray that You would use this to introduce people in our spheres of influence today to You, the Savior and Lord of all.

God, we pray for the Pulayan people in India, over a million of them who’ve never heard the name and the truth of Jesus, may that change God. Send laborers, send people from our churches, other churches to the Pulleon people of India that they might exalt the name of Jesus. Jesus, we love, and praise, and worship You. We want to follow You with all our hearts today. Jesus, we want to honor You and glorify You in every facet of our lives. We love and praise You, Jesus. And we pray all of this in Your name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!