Remember Moses’ face shining when he came down from meeting the Lord on Mount Sinai? And how Jesus’ followers’ hearts burned after meeting him on the road to Emmaus (read Shiny Heartburn)? I have been thinking more about Moses in Exodus 34 and the veil described to hide his face. In 2Corinthians 3:7-18, we see this radiant glory described in light of Jesus and the ministry of the covenant of grace.
“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
We see here that Moses face faded over time, and the contrast of the ministry of the Spirit being more glorious. What could be more glorious than meeting face to face with God? Well it turns out that the contrast is with respect to the ministry. “If the ministry which condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!” Surpassing glory. Ever-increasing glory.
And “since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” Are we? We should be. We are ministers, serving up the ministry that brings life. Bold!
And when anyone turns to Jesus, we begin our unveiling, which ever increases as the Spirit works. We actually have the opposite experience of Moses. His face faded over time. Our faces and lives will increasingly glow with the transforming work of the Spirit in us. Surpassing glory, indeed!
May we comprehend the ever-increasing glory in our lives.
May we be bold with such a hope.
That others will turn to Jesus to be unveiled as we are.
That more might glow.