Monday, 6 July 2015
For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 2 Corinthians 3:11
Again Paul shows the contrast between the Law of Moses and the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. Here he uses a term “is passing away” which is a present participle. Why, if the New Covenant has replaced the Old, has he termed it this way? One could argue that it was because the temple was still standing in Jerusalem until it was destroyed in AD70. However, Paul is writing doctrine for the church age – all of it. What he wrote then still applies now. So what does this mean?
The answer is that Israel has not yet received Jesus Christ as a collective whole. Daniel 9 shows that they have seven more years in the prophetic timeline to do so. These years are yet future and a temple will be rebuilt, sacrifices will be made, and the Old Covenant will be employed during those seven years. This does not mean it is acceptable for a relationship with God, but that it is a time which is preparing them for an acceptable relationship with Him through Jesus, exactly as Daniel prophesied. This is the same type of terminology which is found in Hebrews –
“In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13
Based on the structure of the Bible, the letters after Paul’s epistles which begin with Hebrews are specifically directed to the Jews of the end times. This is why the terminology is used. God reaches out, one last time, to the Jews of the end times for reconciliation to Him. It is coming and may it be soon that they receive their Messiah!
Understanding this, Paul says that this which is “passing away” was glorious. It was received in glory and it bears the holy character of God. Jesus alone fulfilled it, demonstrating His glory. And He remains through it, having shed His blood in fulfillment of the passing glory and being resurrected to lead us to that which is “much more glorious.” We have an eternal glory before us in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. This glory is now bestowed upon all who receive Him.
Life application: Reinserting the law, which Christ has fulfilled, is to reject the work He accomplished for us. Let us stand firm on the truth that He is the fulfillment of the law and He is where our hope and trust must lie. Not in works, but in faith.
Heavenly Father, I will boast in Christ the Lord and in Him alone. No work on earth will get me one inch closer to You. Instead, He fulfilled the law which only brought condemnation, and He prevailed over that law. Now, through faith in His work, the law is nullified to me. I stand reconciled through the work of Another! Thank You God for Jesus Christ my Lord! Amen.