The golden calf disaster had broken the covenant relationship between God and his people, which had only be sealed as recently as chapter 24. But now God makes another covenant, culminating in the commandments written on a new set of stone tablets (v.28). What a great demonstration of the character of God:
The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin (vv.6,7)
When Moses came down from the mountain this time, his face continued to reflect the glory of God (vv.29-35). What an experience! Yet the Apostle Paul says that as Christians we can all experience something even greater:
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold ... And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:7-18)
The reason Jesus died on Good Friday was not simply that we could experience forgiveness of sins (although that was certainly a major part of it). God has planned something even greater for us: glory! A glory which will make everything we have ever seen look shabby by comparison. And this process of glorification has already begun in us.
In his book The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis wrote:
Remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.
Questions to ponder: In what way is the glory of God being increasingly displayed in your life? How can you help something else to grow more into God's glorious likeness?