September 17, Monday

Guido Reni – Moses with the Tables of the Law

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed.

2 Corinthians 3:18.

When Moses received the ten commandments from God on Mount Sinai and went back down to the people, his face shone, reflecting the glory of God. But the Israelites could not bear to behold such brilliance. Why were they afraid? Moses was holding the tablets of the law in his hands. The law reminded them of their shortcomings and thus their guilt before God (cf. Exodus 34:6.7.29-35).

There are Christians who confuse the law of Moses with the grace of the gospel; so they are never free and joyful before God. Despite their sincere efforts to keep the commandments, they fail again and again and feel condemned by the law. Now God’s Word states for believers: “Christ has set us free in freedom” (Galatians 5:1 J.N.D). They have been freed from condemnation, from the law and from the fear of death.

Christ accomplished perfectly the work of redemption. The righteous judgment over the law for our guilt was carried out in His atoning sacrifice. So “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4). In the glory Christ doesn’t hold the tablets of the law in His hands; He is Himself the object and the measure of our life for us to behold.

It all depends on our line of vision! Attending to the commandments and prohibitions of the law only provokes sin! “Looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2), Christians receive strength to do good and flee from sin. Whoever is led by the Spirit of God and looks upon Christ, will not come into conflict with the righteous demands of the law (cf. Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:4).

Image: By Guido Reni – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain,