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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Face to Face

Today I'm reading 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 from "The Message."

12-15 With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn’t notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn’t notice. They didn’t notice it then and they don’t notice it now, don’t notice that there’s nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can’t see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there’s nothing there.

16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

You have to go back to Exodus (34:32ff) to get the background on this passage. Moses was visibly changed by his encounters with God on Mt. Sinai when he was receiving the Commandments from God that would form the core of God's covenant with the people of Israel. Some bad sunburn, so bad he had to cover his face whenever he went out to face people. The glory of God was too much for others to see. This was repeated in the temple when a thick veil hung in front of the Holy of Holies to shield people from the glory of God. That veil ripped from top to bottom when Jesus died. (Matthew 27:51). It meant that Jesus had entered the Holy of Holies with the perfect sacrifice of his own life and people would no longer have to be shielded or separated from the glory of God. 

Now we see God face to face in Christ. "Nothing between us and God...our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him." That's quite a facial!!

May you shine with the glory of God in Christ today. God is personally present with you today. 


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