And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
-2 Corinthians 3:18
Moses, the man who led the Israelite people from their slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land of Israel, was known as a “friend of God.” (Exodus 33:11) Moses’s special relationship with God was unlike anyone else – He could speak directly to God to receive guidance and commandments from the King of the Universe! When Moses would come down to lead the people after speaking to God, they were often afraid:
“As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord. … the children of Israel … were afraid to come near him. … he put a veil over his face.”
Moses’s face would radiate with a holy glow when he spent time with God. When he returned to the people, their sinful state could not tolerate the holiness radiating from Moses, so they made him wear a veil to hide the light. In fact, scripture made it clear that anyone else who came to see God face to face would immediately die in their sinfulness. (Exodus 33:20)
When Jesus began to preach and teach, He made it clear that the glory of God existed in its fullness through Him. What was once veiled from view was now seen clearly in the life of the Son of God. When Jesus was glorified after His death and resurrection, the disciples had to shield their eyes from His glory – yet were able to live because they were made holy in Christ!
For Paul – a wise and learned Pharisee – the idea that one could look upon God with an unveiled face was unbelievable. The scriptures were clear that no one could look upon the face of God and live because of God’s absolute holiness! Yet In Jesus’s perfect life and sacrificial death, the sin that kept us from being able to see God’s perfection was taken away. Our relationship restored, we can now come even nearer to God than Moses.
If you are made new through faith in Jesus, you are now able to come before the throne of the King of the Universe without fear. You are holy as Jesus is holy, and can live in relationship with God as you were meant to! What a glorious truth to live in today!
Questions For Reflection on 2 Corinthians 3:18
#1 In his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul reminds the believers that they no longer have to live in fear that God will destroy them. Why is that true, when all of the scripture once said that man could not come before God and live?
#2 If you are truly made holy, does the light of Christ shine from your face? Do those who live around you see the glory of God in your life? How should your life now look if you are a true believer and follower of Jesus Christ?
God, what an incredible image to think of: Moses standing before Your face and hearing Your voice. What an amazing truth that we can do that today through Jesus Christ! Thank you that our sins have been removed by the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. May I always remember that I have the ability to stand in Your presence and receive Your love and guidance. May I never forget that incredible privilege and always come before you to confess my sins and receive forgiveness in Christ. Help me to live in the truth of my new, pure relationship with You!
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.