Monday, October 15, 2012

Face to Face

I have just finished reading through the book of Deuteronomy, and I was struck by the description of Moses at the end of chapter 34:
10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
 I love the description of the relationship Moses had with God: face to face. While the people of Israel had only a secondary knowledge of God through His messengers and His works, Moses knew God face to face. Additionally, God used Moses powerfully - none of the other prophets even came close to experiencing the same work of God displayed through their lives...until the Son.

Jesus is so clearly the true and better Moses! While Moses' knowledge of God is called face to face, it really wasn't, at least not in the fullest sense of the phrase. Moses talked with God, of course, but he did so through a burning bush or through prayer. Moses asked to see God, and he did - but only his back. Although what Moses experienced was a much greater revelation than the rest of the people, it was not a full glimpse of the glory of God. But Jesus is different. He truly did know God face to face, in the most intimate sense. He was and is God. What Moses was not allowed to know because of his sin, Jesus knows because He is the standard for holiness. What Moses was not allowed to see, Jesus has seen in its fullest glory.

What Jesus has done is also true and better! Yes, the greatness of God was displayed in what Moses did in Egypt and everywhere else. But Jesus displays God's greatness to the entire world. He displays the most perfect picture of justice and holiness and mercy and grace. The signs and wonders that He performed were greater because they did not just lead to the freedom of an enslaved race, but to the freedom of all mankind who will come to Him. This is the good news.

And because of Jesus, the true and better Moses, we can behold the glory of God. The veil between God and man was ripped in two because of the cross and we can be very bold. 2 Corinthians 3 reminds us that:
12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end... 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 
Because of Jesus, we have a much clearer picture of the glory of God. But there is an even greater truth found in 1 Corinthians 13.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
One day, we, like Moses, like Jesus, will see the great and glorious Creator of the Universe face to face. What that looks like, I am not sure. I only know that it something that I long for and desire.


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