The story of Moses meeting God and coming with a shining face of God’s glory is a remarkable event recorded in the Bible. This divine encounter not only highlights Moses’ unique relationship with God but also holds a profound message for the New Testament Church. Through biblical references, we will explore the significance of Moses’ radiant face, its fading glory, and how it relates to the concept of ever-increasing glory in the context of the Church.
MOSES’ ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
In the book of Exodus, we read about Moses’ intimate encounters with God on Mount Sinai. During one such encounter, as Moses communed with the Almighty, his face was transfigured and began to radiate God’s glory. Exodus 34:29 describes it, saying, “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.”
THE SHINING FACE OF GOD’S GLORY
The radiant face of Moses signified the divine presence and glory that enveloped him during his communion with God. This radiant glow represented the awe-inspiring majesty, holiness, and power of the Almighty. It was a visible manifestation of Moses’ close relationship with God and the divine authority he possessed as a chosen leader with a divine commission.
THE FADING GLORY
However, the brightness of Moses’ face was temporary. Exodus 34:29 further states, “But afterwards, when Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord again.”
The radiance of Moses’ face was a typology of the glory of the Old Testament Church, which was fading. According to 2 Corinthians 3:13, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.”
Moses’ face gradually lost its radiance as time passed, and he interacted with the people. The fading glory symbolised that the extraordinary radiance was not an inherent attribute of Moses himself but a reflection of God’s glory bestowed upon him. The temporary nature of this radiance highlighted the limitations of the Old Testament Church and pointed toward a greater glory that would come in the future through the New Testament Church.
THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH: DAY OF PENTECOST
The New Testament Church was birthed on the day of Pentecost, as recounted in the book of Acts Chapter 2. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostles spoke in different tongues, boldly proclaiming the Gospel to a diverse crowd. The miraculous events of Pentecost marked the beginning of a new era, where the power of the Holy Spirit ignited a movement that would impact the world.
THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST
The apostle Paul extensively used the metaphor of the Church as the “Body of Christ” in his letters to various congregations. In 1 Corinthians 12:27, he writes, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” This imagery emphasises the unity, diversity, and interdependence within the Church. Each believer, with their unique gifts and talents, contributes to the growth and edification of the Church, leading to ever-increasing glory.
THE CHURCH’S GROWTH AND INFLUENCE
The book of Acts chronicles the rapid growth and impact of the early Church. Acts 2:47 states, “And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” This verse highlights the continuous expansion of the Church as more people embraced the message of salvation. The Church’s influence grew, and through its teachings, miracles, and acts of love, it became a beacon of hope and transformation for communities far and wide.
THE CHURCH’S ETERNAL PURPOSE
Ephesians 3:10-11 unveils a profound mystery regarding the Church: “[God’s] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The New Testament Church serves as a vessel through which God’s wisdom is revealed to the spiritual realm. It is a central part of God’s eternal plan, contributing to the ever-increasing glory of His Kingdom.
THE CHURCH’S CALL TO SHINE
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus declares to His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” These words emphasise the Church’s role in radiating God’s glory and transforming the world. As the Church lives out its calling, it becomes a beacon of hope, drawing people to the abundant life found in Christ.
RELATING MOSES’ DIVINE ENCOUNTER TO THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
In the New Testament, Apostle Paul draws a parallel between Moses’ experience and the transformation happening within the Church. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul writes, “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.”
Paul speaks of a surpassing glory that surpasses the fading radiance of Moses’ face. He explains that as believers in Christ, we have direct access to the glory of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The glory we experience is not temporary but continues to increase and transform us into the image of Christ. It is a process of spiritual growth and sanctification that unfolds throughout our lives, manifesting the ever-increasing glory of God in the New Testament Church.
Though temporary, the account of Moses meeting God and his shining face serves as a powerful metaphor for the transformative journey of believers in the New Testament Church. We, like Moses, have the privilege of communing with God and experiencing His glory. However, unlike Moses, our access to God’s glory is not transitory but ever-increasing, leading to a continual transformation into the likeness of Christ. As members of the New Testament Church, we are called to embrace this transformative process, allowing the glory of God to shine through us and reflect His love, grace, and power to the world.
Written by Benjamin Mwinbeogre Zii