Jesus – The Cross Of Jacob

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, May 28, 2006, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal
Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church
Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Gen. 48:1-22

Text: Gen. 48:14

Genesis 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

Introduction: As God allows, I want to bring you a message this morning once again on the person and work of our Savior and God, the Lord Jesus Christ. I intend to take this Old Testament passage about the blessing of Jacob upon Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and head straight to the New Testament record of the crucifixion. I remind you that this is in obedience to our Lord, who said:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jesus preached this way, when He met with two disciples after His resurrection,

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

In preaching this series from the front of the Bible to the back, I am in Psalms. However, I read an old sermon by a layman this week that made passing reference to this scene, and I could not resist taking the time to try to pass on to you the blessing that God gave me from the book of Genesis.


Genesis 48:13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him.

Joseph brought his sons to Jacob, because he wanted something from GOD. What a blessing to have parents and grandparents who know the Lord and know how to get things from HEAVEN for their children and grandchildren!

A. He wanted God’s best for his sons

B. He wanted God’s blessings for his sons


Genesis 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

Not only did Joseph love his sons, but so did Jacob.

By the way, I’m glad to report to you that God loves you and your children more than you ever will. Never forget that.

A. God loves sinners
1. John 3:16

B. God loves the saints

C. God loves the Savior, His only begotten Son
1. John 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.


Genesis 48:17-19 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

As a man said in a funeral this week, things are not always as they appear.

A. What appeared was a blind father
1. On the cross, it appeared that God had turned His back and was unaware of what was going on.
2. Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

B. What appeared was a bad fault
1. Did God lose control at Calvary?

C. What appeared was a bad future
1. To the disciples, the death of Jesus Christ looked like deliverance would not come.


Genesis 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

Notice that Israel, God’s replacement name for Jacob, knew what he was doing. He guided his hand “wittingly.” I’m glad that God knew what He was doing on Calvary. Some men thought, and the disciples thought, that a great MISTAKE had been made when Jesus died. Oh, the injustice they felt! Oh, my friend, there was no mistake on God’s part. God KNEW what He was doing!

Manasseh was on Jacob’s right, and Ephraim was on Jacob’s left. Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim’s head and his left hand on Manasseh’s head … MAKING A CROSS.

A. The cross signifies an execution
1. Jacob was dying, which is why these sons were going to be blessed.
2. God’s blessings of salvation came only because JESUS DIED.

B. The cross signifies an exchange
1. Ephraim got what Manasseh deserved, and Manasseh received what was due Ephraim.
2. On the cross, JESUS took what you deserve, so that you and I could get what JESUS deserves!
3. Gal. 3:13
4. 2 Cor. 5:21

C. The cross signifies an exception
1. Normally Manasseh would have received the “right-hand” blessing
2. You and I deserve HELL, but because of the CROSS, you and I get God’s “right-hand” blessing. JESUS is at God’s right hand, and we get the blessings of JESUS because of the CROSS of Calvary! Hallelujah!


Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,
Gospel Light Baptist Church 
P.O. Box 3071 (237 Lockett Station Road),
Albany, GA 31706
(229) 432-0039 (church) / (229) 698-2127 (parsonage)
*Scriptures in my notes are from the Authorized Version 1611 -KJV- and are used by permission of the Author – Ephesians. 6:17*
“Lord, Send A Revival!”

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