Daily Word of Grace #70 (June 22, 2020)

In the Old Testament the Lord commanded Moses to instruct the priests to proclaim the following blessing over Israel: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).  This blessing is beautiful and full of high octane gospel.  To be blessed by the Lord means to receive God’s favor, God’s grace—grace that keeps you and grace that means God’s face shines on you—or in other words, that God smiles on you.  To be blessed by the Lord means that the Lord is indeed gracious towards you, not angry or wrathful or judgmental.  To be blessed by the Lord means the Lord lifts up his countenance upon you, that the Lord is for you, not against you.  To be blessed by the Lord means peace, that when it comes to your relationship with God you have peace, not confusion or turmoil or anxiety.  This blessing foreshadows Jesus’ death on Good Friday.  In his death on the cross to atone for the sins of the world Jesus blessed you, kept you, made his face shine upon you, and was gracious to you.  In being lifted upon the cross Jesus lifted his countenance upon you and drew the whole world to himself (John 12:32), and gave you peace with God (Romans 5:1).  And Jesus remains your “Great High Priest” to whom you can go anytime to receive “grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16), to receive yet again the blessing of God.

Love and Prayers,