May His Face Shine on You
There are two places in the New Covenant that describe Yeshua's (Jesus') face shining like the sun. The first is on the Mount of Transfiguration: Matthew 17:2 – His face shone like the sun.
Yeshua is giving His disciples a taste of what the kingdom of God will be like. As He prayed (Luke 9:27-29), His face began to shine. He was able to raise and lower the glory shining through Him at will. Our resurrection bodies will operate in a similar way (Philippians 3:21).
The second is the Revelation to John: Revelation 1:16 – His face was like the sun shining in its strength. Yeshua reveals to John that it was He Himself who appeared as the Angel of the Lord in glory to the patriarchs (Daniel 10:5, Daniel 7:13, Ezekiel 1:26, Exodus 24:11, etc).
Yet a human cannot see the glorified face of God and live. When Moses talked to God, there was a covering of cloud between him and God. He implored God to remove the cloud to see His face, but the Lord refused. The most He could allow was to see Him from behind (Exodus 33:12-23).
[Note: Most translations of Exodus 33:14-15 say that Moses asked for God's "presence" to go with him. However, the word in Hebrew is not "presence," but "face." He was not asking for God's presence to go with him – he already had that. He was asking to see the glory of God's face.]
Our sins have hidden the face of God from us (Isaiah 59:2). In Eden before the first sin, Adam and Eve saw the face of God directly. They were so captivated by His glory that they didn't notice they were naked. In paradise. We will be able to see His face directly again.
Since the glory power would be too dangerous for us in our current sinful condition, Yeshua set aside His glory to be born into the earth in a normal human body (Philippians 2:6-8). He also appeared in a normal human form in the Old Covenant, whenever He wanted to dialogue with the patriarchs (Genesis 18:2, Genesis 32:24, Joshua 5:13, Judges 13:21, etc.).
[Note: When Yeshua appeared in glory to Saul on the Damascus road, He graciously slipped scales (the first contact lenses?) into Saul's eyes to protect them from "melt-down" (Acts 9:18).]
Although Moses did not look directly upon the glory of the Lord's face, he was in the presence of the glory for enough time that his face began to radiate with light. The glory was absorbed into his skin from the outside, and thus was only temporary. Yet that temporary glory was so terrifying, he had to cover his face so the people would not flee from him (Exodus 34:35).
If Moses had not seen the glory of God's face directly, and if the glory on Moses' face was only external and temporary – how much greater will the glory be, when it comes in fullness, radiating from the inside, and lasting forever?
II Corinthians 3:11 - If what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
The story of Moses' face on Mt. Sinai contains a promise that a much greater glory awaits us (and him) in the resurrection. The invisible spiritual power of that future glory can come into our hearts as we meditate on the Lord today.
II Corinthians 3:18 – 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.
We behold the face of the Lord – not with physical eyes, but with the eyes of the heart (Ephesians 1:18). As we behold the glory of the Lord by faith, we are transformed, little by little, in increasing stages, into His own image. And where is that glory? – in the shining face of Yeshua:
II Corinthians 4:6 – the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Yeshua the Messiah.
We are like Moses, but in reverse. Our bodies stay the same, but the glory is stored up in our hearts. What you have on the inside now will appear on the outside in the resurrection (see I Corinthians 15:41-42). When Stephen was martyred, the inner glory radiated out through his face like an angel (Acts 6:15).
What greater blessing could there be than to gaze directly into God's glorious face? (And what greater punishment could there be than to have His face hidden from us?) What greater blessing could there be than the glory of God transferred into our hearts? This is the secret of the Aaronic Benediction.
Numbers 6:24-26 - May the Lord bless you... May the Lord make His face to shine upon you! May the Lord lift up His countenance unto you…
This is THE blessing, the high priestly blessing. The earthly high priest was a symbolic portrayal of the Messiah, the Great High Priest. Having Aaron's face shine upon you might not do much good. But the glory of God in the face of Yeshua is a divine "download" of immeasurable grace, intimacy, and power.
This is why we bless our congregation in Jerusalem every week with the Aaronic benediction. May His face shine upon you!
Israel Coalition Update
Until this point Livni has refused Netanyahu's and Liberman's request to form a unity government. This puts the coalition in danger of being unstable and manipulated by ultra-Orthodox parties. Please pray urgently for God's will to be done during these last negotiations for a unified government, wisdom for Netanyahu, and to prevent coercion and corruption from the Orthodox parties.
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