Day 63: Numbers 32-35; Mark 10

Jesus through the Journey

Threaded through the Old Testament narrative, we see the presence of God, our Savior, in the midst of His people, looking ahead to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. In Numbers 35, we see a powerful visual reminder of grace. The Levites, the bridge-building (mediatorial) tribe, are assigned cities sprinkled throughout the Land of Promise in the territory the tribes inherit. Just as they surrounded the tabernacle on all sides inside the circle of tribes, now they would be found ministering in the middle of the community dispersed to their inheritance...representing persons to God, God to persons. Not only that, designated Levitical cities would become 'Cities of Refuge' (Numbers 35:6). Places where people could go to find grace when in their brokenness they were involved in hurting others in the absence of malice. They may even have been totally innocent and falsely accused. We must all find a refuge in grace...that place is ultimately Jesus, God present in the midst of His people (Matthew 11:28-30).

But, then there is guilt. The guilty must be punished and the punishment fit the for life. Even in the language of 'justice' the grace of God in Christ shines out: "...and there can be no atonement for the land because of the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of the person who shed it" (Numbers 35:33b, CSB). I am reminded that 'He was wounded for our transgression. He was crushed for our iniquities, our sins. The punishment that brought us true peace with God in life was given to Him, the perfectly sinless and innocent One. By His beating, by His stripes, by His bloodshed, we are made whole and receive atonement' (see Isaiah 53:5). Even through the wilderness and into the Land of Promise, I see Jesus. Thank God!

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