“He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!” 2 Corinthians 3:6-11 NLT
The Old Covenant (Mosaic Law) was given by God to the people of Israel through Moses. This law contained ceremonial, civil, and moral aspects. This law was given to the Israelites as a means of stability and civility. Since man had fallen into sin, he was incapable, on his own, to know the specifications of a Holy and Righteous God. In order to keep mankind from self destruction, God, in His mercy, gave us an understanding of His Holiness and set perimeters for living. This law could never make us holy, it could only show us the Holiness of God and reveal to us our sinful inability to achieve His Holiness. As man looked at the law it made him recognize how sinful he was and how Holy God was. Any consideration of being able to entirely fulfill its requirements was met with a falling short (see Romans 3:23). None of us were capable. However, the law served its purpose and continues, to this day, to testify of the greatness and Holiness of God. The old Covenant was a masterful display of the glory of God. It exclaimed the radiance, beauty, and perfectness of God. It shouted to man the utter righteousness of the Creator. Moses had been in the presence of God as he received God's commands and it resulted in a radiance of God upon the very face of Moses (see Exodus 34:33-35). Moses had to veil his face because of the radiance of God that was shining upon him. What an awesome and holy God! Moses had become aglow with the radiance of God's Holiness. This radiance would begin to fade upon Moses as he could not stay in the presence of God.
If this was the experience under the Old Covenant, then we are certainly given a much more grand and glorious radiance under the New Covenant. Jesus, the Creator, has displayed, in the body of a human being, the glory of the invisible, unseen, Spirit God (see Colossians 1:15-23 and 2:9). In Jesus Christ, the glory of God resides. Through Him, we are made into the righteousness of God (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). Wow!! What a revelation! In Jesus, we are restored into the image of God and we are given the Holy Spirit which resides inside us (see I Corinthians 6:19). This radiance does not fade. His presence lives inside those who are washed in the blood of Jesus.
Now that is glorious!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris