Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Romans 10:5-13
A well-known Youth Minister once told the story of the year his youth group decided to forgo their usual annual carwash fundraiser and instead offer car washes for free to anyone who wanted one. It was intended to demonstrate God’s grace, which comes to us through no effort of our own.
During the event, a man drove up, rolled down his window, and asked the Youth Minister, “how much?” Pointing to the sign, the Youth Minister said, “It’s absolutely free.” “Oh, I know how this works, buddy,” the guy quipped, “you say it’s free but you really want a donation; how much do you want?” The Youth Minister repeated, “It’s free, because God’s grace is free.” The man rolled up his window and drove away.
Last week we looked at the gracious law of Moses. Technically speaking, Israel was able to obey that law, even though they were sinful people (Deuteronomy 30:11). God set Israel apart from all the sinful peoples of the world and provided them a gracious law that allowed them to walk righteously before him, if only they obeyed it.
This week we look at an even greater grace given to us by God in Christ Jesus. The era of trying to obtain righteousness through obedience to the law of Moses is over. The shadow has given way to the body of the shadow. The Messiah has come like one running a race. He crossed the finish line Israel as a nation never crossed. He fulfilled all the requirements of the law of Moses. Even more, he did what no human could ever do, he lived a perfectly holy, obedient life unto God (1 Peter 2:22).
Now, God’s grace can be received completely unmerited by anything we do. When Jesus crossed that finished line, those who trust in him were on his back. Christ’s victorious righteousness becomes their righteousness.
Yet, old temptations are hard to kill. Like the people of Moses’ day, we still want to contribute something of our own. Paul in Romans 10:5-13 applied Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 30:11-14 to this new era of grace. He said that to try to add something of our own to what Christ already did for us would be like calling Christ back down from heaven or like trying to raise Christ again from the dead. Christ already did those things; how dare we act as though he needs to do them again.
Let us not roll up our window and drive away, but joyously receive what God gave for free to those who trust in him.