Put together by Dustin Dyer
This is kind of long but WELL WORTH THE READ, if you struggle in this area or have questions or need help understanding.
People are always debating this and people who are nonbelievers or who doubt the bible always try and use it to prove a misinformed point. But it kind of makes them look silly. Jesus fulfilled the law, he is the solution to the law. They have to understand the law was never given to save us, but to lead us to the one who will.
I will show you one point in the bible that brings the Old and New Testament together on this issue.
We will start with Exodus 34:29-35
29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony(Law) were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the Lord had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. 35 And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
The first time Moses came down the Mount in (Exodus 24:12 - 32:13), He did not have this face which was reflecting some radiance associated with being in the presence of the Lord or an extended period of time. On the first occasion, mere mention was made of Moses being gone 40 days and nights-(24:18) On the second, mention was made of the 40 day and night absence but adding that Moses had been there with the Lord, neither eating nor drinking, this appears to draw a difference between the 2 visits. The second visit was not interrupted by the Lord's sending Moses away because of the sin in the camp-(32:7-10) A compliant and not defiant people feared the evidence of God's presence. When not speaking to the Lord or authoritatively on His behalf to the people, Moses veiled his face. The Apostle Paul in the New Testament advised that the veil prevented the people from seeing a fading glory and related it to the "inadequacy" of the Old Covenant-(Law) and the blindness of the Jews in his day.
Lets look at what Paul has to say about Moses in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The ministry of death, the Law is a killer in the sense that it brings knowledge of sin. It acts as a ministry of death because NO ONE can satisfy the demands of the Law on his own and is therefore condemned. When God gave Moses the Law, His glory appeared on the mountain. Paul was not depreciating the Law; he was acknowledging that it was glorious because it reflected God's nature, will, and character. The Israelites could not look intentively or stare at Moses' face for too long because the reflective glory of God was too bright for them. It was similar to staring into the sun. When God manifested Himself, He did so by reducing His attributes to visible light. That's how God manifested Himself to Moses, whose face in turn reflected the glory of God to the people.
The "ministry of the Spirit" is Paul's descriptive term for the New Covenant. Paul is arguing that if such glory attended the giving of the law under the ministry that brought death, how much more glorious will be the ministry of the Spirit in the New Covenant which brings righteousness. The Law pointed to the superior New Covenant and thus a glory that must also be superior. In verse 11 the thing that is "passing" is the Law. The Law had a fading glory. It was not the final solution or the last word on the plight of sinners. Also in verse 11 "what remains" is the New Covenant because it is the consummation of God's plan of salvation. IT HAS PERMANENT GLORY!
In verse 12, "such hope" is the belief that all the promises of the New Covenant will occur. It is hope in the total and complete forgiveness of sins for those who believe the gospel.
Also in verse 12, "boldness of speech" The Greek word for "boldness" here means "courageously" because of his confidence, Paul preached the New Covenant FEARLESSLY, without hesitation or timidity.
In verse 13, Moses, who put a veil over his face. This physical action pictured the fact that Moses did not have the confidence or boldness of Paul because the Old Covenant was veiled. It was shadowy. It was made up of types, pictures, symbols, and mystery. Mose communicated the glory of the Old Covenant with obscurity. In verse 14 and 15 -the same veil remains.. a veil lies on their heart.. Here Paul speaks about the veil still being there for some. The "veil" here represents unbelief. Those Israelites did not grasp the glory of the Old Covenant because of their unbelief. As a result, the meaning of the Old Covenant was obscure to them. Paul's point was that just as the Old Covenant was obscure to the people of Moses' day, it was still obscure to those who trusted in it as a means of salvation in Paul's day. The veil of ignorance obscures the meaning of the Old Covenant to the hardened heart.
In verse 14-the veil is taken away in Christ, Without Christ the Old Testament is unintelligble. But when a person comes to Christ, the veil is lifted and his spiritual perception is no longer impared. With the veil removed, believers are able to see the glory of God revealed in Christ. THEY UNDERSTAND THE LAW WAS NEVER GIVEN TO SAVE THEM, BUT TO LEAD THEM TO THE ONE WHO WOULD!!!
In verse 17 the Lord is the Spirit, Yahweh of the Old Testament is the same Lord who is saving people in the New Testament through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The same God is the minister of both the Old and the New Testaments. When Paul states, "there is Liberty" Freedom from sin and the futile attempt to keep the demands of the Law as a means of earning righteousness. The BELIEVER IS NO LONGER IN BONDAGE TO THE LAW'S CONDEMNATION AND SATAN'S DOMINION!!!!
WE ALL with an unveiled face, not just Moses, or prophets, apostles, and preachers, but ALL believers. Believers in the New Covenant have NOTHING obstructing their vision of Christ and His glory as revealed in the scripture.
Just as verse 18 states "being transformed" is a continual, progressive transformation. As they gaze into the glory of the Lord, believers are continually being transformed into Christlikeness.
THE MORE BELIEVERS GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST, THE MORE HE IS REVEALED IN THEIR LIVES. Although the believer's vision is unobstructed and intimate, they still do not see the absolute, perfect representation of God's glory, BUT WE WILL ONE DAY!