(Genesis 40)

“In my dream,” he said, “I saw a grapevine with three branches. All of a sudden, leaves began to grow on the branches, and then blossoms, and then grapes. When the grapes were ripe, I picked some and squeezed them into the Pharaoh’s cup and brought it to him.”

“I have good news!” Joseph said.

“Here is what your dream means. The three branches stand for three days. In three days, you will be lifted up from this cold, dark prison. You will be set free, and you will be restored to your Master’s house!”

And then Joseph added, “When you are back, serving in Pharaoh’s house, please remember me. Put in a good word for me with Pharaoh, and help me get out of prison, because I did nothing wrong.”

Now, when the Baker heard the good news about the Butler’s dream, he thought, ‘Whew! That IS good news! I can’t wait to hear what my dream means!’

And so he grabbed Joseph by the arm and said, “I had a dream too!

“In my dream, I was carrying three baskets on my head. In the top basket there were all kinds of tasty baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them.”

Joseph’s paused a moment, not knowing quite how to say what he had to say. “I am afraid for you the news is not so good.

“The three baskets stand for three days. And in three days, you will be lifted up too. But it won’t be like the Butler is going to be lifted up. You are going to be lifted up - Pharaoh is going to cut off your head, and hang your body on a pole for the birds to eat.”

That’s pretty scary.

But it has to be scary, because it is a warning. At the end of our life, each of us will be like either the Butler or the Baker.

Jesus was like both.

The Baker offended his Master, and he had to suffer the punishment for it. Jesus was like the Baker. Jesus was lifted up on a pole when he was put to death on the cross. Only Jesus suffered for OUR offenses, not his own.

But then, just like the Butler, after three days in a cold dark tomb, Jesus was lifted up to live in his Father’s house forever.

And so, when we come to the end of our life, everyone who believes in Jesus will be like the Butler. That is the Good News! We will be lifted up with Jesus, and we will live with him in our Master’s house forever.

But everyone else will be like the Baker. And that will not be good news at all.

There is Good News, but there is the bad news too. And that is something important to remember.

Well, three days later, it was Pharaoh’s birthday.

And Pharaoh gave himself a great party to celebrate how wonderful and mighty he was. Pharaohs can do stuff like that!

“Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!” 

Pharaoh must have been in a very good mood, because he forgave the Butler. He even invited him to his party, and gave him his old job back in the palace.

But things were not so happy for the Baker. It all happened just as Joseph said it would.

But the moment the Butler returned to the palace, he forgot all about Joseph, and never said a word to Pharaoh about him.

All pictures and story © Paul Dallgas-Frey