I touched on this yesterday, but I want to look at it much more deeply today. We saw yesterday that when Moses received the ten commandments, his face initially glowed with the glory of the Lord.
At first, because the people were frightened by this glowing, he covered his face with a veil. But then, he kept it on much longer than he needed to. Why? Probably because he was ashamed that the glory was fading from his face. And probably because he realized that his own sinfulness caused that glory to fade.
And therein, as we have seen the last couple of days, lies the problem with the law. While it tells us what God is like and what we are meant to be, it cannot change us. We remain sinful in God’s sight and condemned by the law.
But Paul tells us that doesn’t have to be us anymore. Rather, when we come to Christ, we find a new glory that far surpasses the glory that shone from Moses’ face. Why? Because the law is no longer simply written on tablets of stone or on sheets of paper for that matter.
Rather, when we become Christians, the Spirit writes his laws upon our hearts and transforms us day by day into Christ’s likeness. Each day, we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another. There is no fading of our glory. Rather, it is an ever increasing glory.
As a result, Paul can tell us,
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. (12-13)
We don’t have to worry that the glory that God has bestowed on us will fade. Rather we can know with confidence that he will continue to work in us until we are conformed to the likeness of his Son, shining in radiance.
Because of this, Paul says we have freedom (17). Freedom from guilt for failing to keep the law. Freedom from punishment. Freedom from trying to keep a law by our own efforts. This was something that even Moses never had. He was bound under law, and as a result, he experienced guilt and shame despite all the sacrifices (Hebrews 10:2-4). He experienced the pains of judgment in that he could not enter the promised land because of his sin. And so he covered his face as the glory of the law faded away.
But we don’t have to do that. Let us take off the veil, and show the world who we are. People saved by grace. People who though we are not perfect, are nevertheless being transformed day by day in the likeness of Christ.
And let us live each day remembering what God has told us,
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone (Jesus), and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (I Peter 2:6)