“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, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?” (2 Corinthians 3:7, 8).
Some claim that according to 2 Corinthians 3:7, 8, the law of God “was done away.” But this passage clearly states, that it was the passing “glory” reflected in the face of Moses that “was to be done away.” That “glory” on Moses’ face faded in a few hours, or days, but the law of God, “written and engraved in stones,” remained in effect. It was the ministry of Moses and the Jewish ceremonial system that passed away, not the law of God. The glory that faded was not placed upon the tables of stone, and did not fade from them.
Jesus Himself declared, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17, 18).
All the ceremonies of the OT (sacrifices, rituals,,,etc.) pointed to Christ’s ministry and with the death of Christ they became no longer needed and were abolished “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15). As Moses’ face reflected the glory of God, so the ceremonial law and the services of the earthly sanctuary reflected the work of Christ on the Cross. God intended that men in OT times should experience the saving presence of Christ through the Mosaic system of ceremonies. But when Christ came, men were honored to see the glory of the Antitype – Christ (John 1:14) and no longer needed the glory of the type -ceremonies.
It is for this reason that Paul speaks of the administration of ceremonies as a “ministration of death.” In and of itself the ceremonial system never saved anyone from reaping the wages of sin—death. And since most Jews of Paul’s time, including the Judaizers now troubling the church at Corinth, considered those sacrifices and ceremonies essential to salvation, Paul appropriately named the entire system as a “ministration of death”- without life. Now, Jews and Gentiles alike must find life in Christ, for in Him alone is there salvation (Acts 4:12).
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In His service,
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