When we think of what God has done for us in the past, we can move confidently into the future. This was true for the people of Israel as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land.

In the final chapter of Genesis, we read that as Joseph was dying, he made his brothers take an oath that they would carry his bones to the land God had promised to Abraham (50:24-26). More than 300 years later, Moses took the bones of Joseph as the Israelites left Egypt (Ex. 13:19).

For the next 40 years the people carried the ark with the tablets of the law and the coffin with the bones of Joseph. The bones served as a reminder of their yesterday. The ark pointed to their tomorrow, for the tablets of the law anticipated the relationship they were to have with the Lord in the Promised Land. The ark and the coffin were reminders that the God who was leading them forward had been at work in their past. Assurance and hope were carried together.

We as God’s people today can have this same outlook when we gather to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We remember with assurance that Jesus died for us (1 Cor. 11:23-25), and we look forward with confidence to His return (v.26). This living hope encourages us as we live each day for Him.