“But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it..”
In this passage, there is a clear picture of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. It is like a compass needle that points to the North Pole. Deuteronomy and the rest of the OT point us to Jesus! Not only do we see Moses speaking to us of Jesus, Paul speaks of Jesus in the same way in Romans 10:6-8 “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
“The word is near you.” Do any ask, What word? The answer is, “The word of faith.” The Gospel-tidings about Christ; that word, which faith bears–prizes–welcomes–clings to–lives by–that record, from which delightedly it draws strength–peace–joy–comfort–glory.
We here are plainly told, that this word was very near to Israel’s sons. Their knowledge was comparatively twilight, but still abundant gleams broke on them from the Sun of Righteousness. Their every rite was Christ, in shadow.
- He was the soul of every ordinance.
- He was reflected by the tabernacle in all its parts.
- The altars stood His graphic form.
- He died in every dying lamb.
- He bled in all the flowing blood.
- He groaned in every victim’s groan.
- The curling incense was His fragrant prayer.
- The veil portrayed His flesh.
- The priest in the resplendent robes–in every sacrificial act–in the uplifted hands–in the grand words of blessing, showed Him, as He ministered below, and as He ministers above.
- The leper preached the malignity and cure of sin.
- The true instruction from Mosaic lips was Christ–His grace–His person–and His perfect work.
The outstretched finger of each part pointed to Him. A constant voice called to one sight–“Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”–turn to the promised seed–the bruiser of the serpent’s head–the great High-priest–the efficacious blood. Leviticus was a mirror, in which our elder brethren might read the full salvation, which the Father planned, and which the Son in due time achieved. Thus Gospel-truth was very near to Israel’s sons.
Reader, learn hence to study Moses with mind intent on Christ. Dig in this mine, as miser eager for pure gold. The flowers of this garden all breathe heavenly fragrance. As salt is in each ocean’s drop, so Jesus is in each portion of these rites. You lose the prize, except you find Him. Never take only superficial chaff from fields of such rich grain.