24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Jesus Fulfills this Blessing
The Lord bless you
Jesus also wanted to bless, for in the gospel of Mark the children come to him and it says, “And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them” (Mark 10:16). Even more, it is in Jesus that God’s blessing comes. “So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14). Paul sums up the blessing that is in Christ in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
And keep you
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and as our good shepherd he keeps us. “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). No one will snatch us out of Christ’s hand because no can. He is too strong and he is keeping us safe.
The Lord make his face shine upon you
When Jesus is seen in his glory, his face shines. “1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matthew 17:1-2). “In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength” (Revelation 1:16).
And it is in the face of Christ that we behold the glory of God. “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). It is by seeing this light that we are saved.
And be gracious to you
Jesus is full of grace as John says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). It is through the grace of Christ that we are saved, “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will” (Acts 15:11). And God’s grace only comes through Jesus, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4). “In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6). The very last verse of the Bible says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Revelation 22:21).
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
God lifts up his face and looks favorably upon us because Jesus suffered, died and removed the wrath of God against us. “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:31-32)? Because of Jesus Christ, God now works all things together for the good of those who love him.
And give you peace
Hundreds of years before he was born, Jesus Christ was called the Prince of Peace (see Isaiah 9:6). He is the one who brings peace. He is the one who makes peace. He is the one in whom we have peace. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We can have peace because Jesus has overcome the world. He has defeated our enemies and is Lord over all. Therefore, we can have peace free from anxiety. But best of all, he has brought us peace with God by his death and resurrection. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1).
This whole blessing hinges on Jesus Christ because it is through Jesus Christ that we get any good thing. God created us in his image, but we have rebelled against him. We disobey him and refuse to submit to his authority. We dishonor him daily. God is holy and must deal with our sin. But rather than merely destroy us for our treachery, he sent his only son to take our punishment for us. Jesus, the eternal son of God, came from heaven and put on flesh. He became man. He lived a holy and righteous life and ultimately went to the cross in order to remove the wrath of God from us. He died in our place and then rose again so that all who believe in him would have eternal life. Any good that we have is owing to the grace of God in Jesus Christ because of the cross of Christ. It is Jesus who gives this blessing in Numbers meaning.