By Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Loyal pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana for over 42 years)

In the last verse in Genesis, we are reminded that Joseph died, was embalmed, and was buried in a coffin in Egypt. It is most interesting that the word "coffin" here also has another meaning. It also means "hope chest."

How well do I recall the day my sister came home and announced her engagement. I remember that she got out the old family cedar chest and made a hope chest out of it. It had been just an old storage chest, a combination sofa and cabinet, but now that old chest took on new life. It became a hope chest. Week after week she placed things in the hope chest looking forward to the day of the marriage. Finally, the day before the wedding she opened it and took out what she had placed in it. The old cedar chest was a hope chest and the wedding day had come.

To the Christian a coffin is not a coffin but a hope chest. That hope began the day of salvation and the old drab looking casket is now a hope chest. Day by day we are putting things in that hope chest as we serve the Lord and lay up treasures in Heaven. One day perhaps we shall be buried in what the world calls a coffin, but in what we know to be a hope chest. Thank God, on the "wedding day," the hope chest will be opened, and what was placed in it will come out. We shall be with Him and like Him.

Isn't it wonderful that Christ changes everything! It is so wonderful that He changes even death. He takes what to us is the most morbid thing of all, a coffin, and makes of it a hope chest.

Someday you and I must be buried. Will you be buried in a coffin or a hope chest?