Grace and Truth came By Jesus Christ
Transitions are by definition difficult things to manage. Even the etymology of the word suggests as much: it is derived from a Latin word meaning to 'go across.' Explorers will confirm that 'going across' is fraught with danger. Crossing the void is where lives are lost. In athletics, runners focus much training on passing the baton from one member of the relay team to another. Organisations expend huge resources limiting the potential losses from transitions in leadership. Crossing the Chasm, one of the most famous business books ever written, addresses the difficulty of changing a small company into a larger one. In transportation, the famous phrase 'Mind the Gap' comes from the inherent danger in passing from platform to train and vice versus.
Transitions are fraught with danger, and this is so in our own spiritual lives. Think how a set of new circumstances can captivate the heart and draw away.
Scripture also records how tricky transitions can be. Think about King Solomon's transition to his son Rehoboam. (He even wrote him a handover document, preserved in the Scriptures as the book of Proverbs.) Or many other good kings who were succeeded by sons who did 'evil in the sight of the Lord.' Or the many failures over the generations in the assembly at Ephesus that resulted in them having 'left their first love.'
For all these reasons I took encouragement when I recently read of another biblical transition. 'The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ' (Jn. 1:17). Think on this: When Christ came, there was an entire change of dispensation, which included the abandonment of a national system of worship. The law was brought to an end, and the dispensation of grace and truth arrived, characterised by worship in 'spirit and in truth' (Jn. 4:24). And yet there was no 90-day plan, no handover document, no contingency planning. All we read is that the law gave way to grace and truth when Christ came.
On the one hand, this is remarkable because He came as an infant and was laid in a manger. He subjected Himself to earthly parents, and never aspired so much as to lead a political party or a religious group. Furthermore, His end was marked by an apparent and public failure on a cross. But it was to Him that God entrusted the transition from law to grace.
But on the other hand, it was entirely predictable. This was no average baby; as the angel, Gabriel informed Mary at His birth, 'that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God' (Lk. 1:35). As Mary cradled her firstborn son in her bosom, He was always and ever the first-begotten son of God, in the bosom of the Father. Invested with all the glories of deity, He became something He had never been before–man, but never relinquished what He always was–God.
This is the One to whom the Father entrusted the transition of the dispensation, for there was none other. Thus, we rejoice today that 'The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.'