“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (Read v. 7-18)
Does your face shine? Does it, like the face of Moses, reflect the glory of the LORD God? But, does it diminish as did the face of Moses after he had talked to the LORD and shared the words of the LORD with the people, or is it growing in brightness? Are you reflecting more and more of the Lord’s glory every day?
When Moses entered into the presence of the LORD God, his face shone with the glory of God; but after sharing God’s Word with the people, Moses put a veil over his face so the people would not see that glory fading away. But he removed the veil when he went back into the presence of the LORD and again reflected God’s glory for a time as he shared God’s Word with the people (cf. Exodus 34:29-35; Mark 9:2-10).
The apostle Paul tells us that veil remains over the heart of the unbelieving Jews to this day. When they hear the law of God read and proclaimed, they see its glory but they do not see that glory fade away because of man’s sinfulness and inability to keep God’s commandments. And with that veil over their face, they fail to see a greater and more glorious covenant established by the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of Christ Jesus in our stead. With the veil over their eyes, they do not see the fading glory of God’s law or their need for a Savior from sin and eternal death.
But when we, by the grace of God, come to Christ and place our faith and hope in Him and His atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, the veil is lifted from our eyes. Instead of attempting to be righteous in God’s eyes by the keeping of the law, we acknowledge our failures to keep that law and look to the holy life and innocent sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus Christ in our stead. We recognize that Jesus has fulfilled God’s laws for us and that He paid in full for all our sins when He died upon the cross and rose again (cf. 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 10:4).
Those with the veil over their face may try their best to keep God’s law and measure up to His glory; but no matter how hard they try, they fail and come short (cf. Rom. 3:23). But those of us who place our hope in the redemption accomplished by Christ Jesus (cf. Romans 3:24-26) are counted righteous and holy for Jesus’ sake and are being changed by the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit into the image of Christ.
The closer we draw to our Savior, the more the Spirit is able to transform us into the image of Christ. And, of course, that sanctifying work will finally be completed in us when we are raised up on the last day in a perfect and glorified body like our Lord Jesus (cf. Romans 8:28-30; 1 John 3:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:49ff.; Philippians 3:20-21).
Dear Lord Jesus, as we see You through Your Word and behold Your glory, change us more and more into Your image until that day when we are changed and raised up without sin to be like You. We ask this for the sake of the redemption You accomplished for all when You suffered and died upon the cross and rose again. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible]