Christ, Our Refuge – May 31, 2022 (151/365)

Jesus in Deuteronomy (Jesus is our ‘Yes and Amen’ )

with Pastor Joedy

Deuteronomy means the ‘second telling of the Law’ – there was a second telling needed because Moses wanted to share the Law shared to him to this new generation that was birthed into the wilderness, before the nation proceeded into the Promised Land.

3 Significant Truths to find in the book of Deuteronomy:

  1. God’s Word is a refuge to those who believe. Jesus is a refuge to those who believe. – In Deuteronomy 19:1-13, God commanded Israel to build cities of refuge: “When the Lord your God has destroyed the nations whose land He is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses, then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

If a person goes out to a field, and if his axe head flies and kills a fellow worker, he would run to the city of refuge, inhabited by the Levites and priests. The priests would welcome the man, because otherwise the Avenger of blood would have permission to slay him without a fair trial. As long as the high priest is alive these people who commit unintentional mistakes are ‘one’ with him.

Because we have Jesus Christ as our High Priest, and because Jesus Christ lives forever, so we are forever one with Him. Indeed, the name of the Lord is a strong tower. We run to Him and we are saved (Proverbs 18:10). Anyone who claims to be an avenger has no right to come near you.

Jesus is our High Priest, Jesus is our City of Refuge, now and forevermore. This and so many more things typify Christ. He is our Refuge, our Sin Offering, and our High Priest. It’s all a demonstration of how He saves us COMPLETELY, as Hebrews 7 would mention.

  1. We see a picture of what obedience looks like in the New Covenant. We used to enjoy reading Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15, which essentially says – If you obey, you will be blessed. If you disobey, you will be cursed. The chapter literally says that, and we used this a lot – or, at least our leadership did – to keep people following, to keep them in line. Little did we know, without the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we were setting people up for failure.

Without the lens of grace, we cannot see that we couldn’t obey the Law. But now that we have come to know and appreciate Christ and His finished work, we are presented with a perspective that has us seeing how the Old Testament was a display of how Israel had to obey to be blessed, or be cursed.

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:19-20

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Galatians 2:21

“Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

“Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”

Deuteronomy 9:4-6

Here’s the thing: We are blessed, not because of OUR obedience, but because of CHRIST’S obedience. We receive blessings, not because we are obedient all the time, but because of Christ being obedient, all the time.

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:18-21

As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

2 Corinthians 1:18-20

We speak freely to God, not because of our obedience, but because of Christ’s obedience. It’s independent of what we do and what we feel, because it was CHRIST who did everything, and Christ who felt for us first. Is there any sense to praying for blessings, then? Of course there is. Don’t feel ashamed to ask! Christ’s obedience covers it all. And, to me personally, that’s the blessing above all other blessings that keeps me in peace, no matter what happens.

Choose Life, Choose Blessings, Choose Jesus. Seeking out His blessings is honoring the finished work of Christ. Saying you need to repay Christ for all He did is cheapening His grace.

  1. The Change of Leadership from Moses to Joshua – Deuteronomy 31:2-3, 6-8: “…Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with these people…”

All this typify the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. It was Moses’ last words, last look, and transfer of leadership. It’s no accident that Joshua’s name means, ‘God saves’ – a form of Jesus taking us out of the wilderness, and into the Promised Land!

The event that supported this transition was the Transfiguration of Jesus, as mentioned in Luke 9:31 – “They (Moses of the Law, Elijah of the Prophets) spoke about his departure (Cross), which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem”

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

It’s around this time that we would do well to realize what we’ve moved from, and what we’ve moved into. Christ introduced us into the New Covenant, but not before satisfying the Old Covenant. We appreciate where we are if we see where we’ve been before Christ.

The Law was symbolized by the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Grace is represented by the Tree of Life.

The Law falls short, just like Cain’s offering. Grace is accepted, like Abel’s sacrifice.

The Law emphasizes disobedience, and its effects, such as the curse on the land following the fall, as well as the flood.

Grace is seen in the deliverance of Noah and the covenant sealed by a rainbow.

The Law is satisfied by works, while Grace is the dispensation of faith, and rest.

The Law results in condemnation, Grace results in justification and righteousness.

The Law points out how we are sinners, Grace convicts us of our righteousness – we are called saints.

The Law brings those under it into slavery, while Grace sets us free.

The Law was etched into stone in Mount Sinai, while Grace brings us to Mount Zion.

The Law is obsolete and fading, Grace is always new and everlasting.

The Law may be glorious, but Grace is so much more glorious.

The Law points out that man’s work is imperfect. Grace projects that God’s work is perfect.

The Law gives strength to sin. Grace empowers us unto righteousness.

The Law dangles conditional promises before us. Grace presents better and unconditional promises.

The Law wearies us with an up and down lifestyle. Grace brings us from glory to glory.

The Law is an unstable and shaky foundation. Grace is a firm and unshakeable foundation.

The Law has us dependent on a temporal presence. Grace guarantees we are confident of God’s permanent presence.

The Law gives rise to the flesh, yet any faithfulness that comes forth is fleeting. Grace has us living by the Spirit, convicting us and leaving us firm and steadfast in the faith authored into us by Christ.

So which Covenant is better? Considering all that we’ve come from, and all Christ has brought us into, I think the answer is pretty clear.

We end with this:

“The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath!” – from Hebrews 7:18-23

Others became priests without any oath, but He became a priest with an oath when God said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: You are a priest, forever.”

Remember what we said about cities of refuge? Remember what we said about us being safe as the High Priest lives? Friends, let us choose life. Let us choose blessings. Let us choose freedom. It’s all in Christ, became the guarantor of a better covenant.


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