In the middle of a discussion on the greatness of Jesus’ New Law in comparison to Moses’ Old Law, Paul says this…
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2 Corinthians 3:10
The glory of the Old Law, Paul says, was only glorious “by reason of the glory that excelleth.” In other words “it’s only glorious because it is replaced by something that’s more glorious.” What does that mean?
To understand that one must remember what the point of the Old Law was.
Paul writes to the Galatians and says that the Old Law’s function was to serve as a stopgap between the Promise made to Abraham and the fulfillment of that Promise in the form of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:19). The purpose of the Law would be finished when Jesus’ Law came into effect (Galatians 3:24-25).
Think of it like this: The Old Law is glorious in the way the light of the moon is glorious.
The sun is of course more glorious, but the moonlight still has its own glow. The glow of the moon doesn’t compare with the glow of the sun; one is obviously greater than the other. And furthermore, without the sun the moon would have no glow, since the moon simply reflects the light of the sun.
In fact, the moon reflects the light of the sun which has not yet risen, but once the sun rises there is no more need for the moon’s glow; we can see better with the sunlight.
So it is with the Old Law and the New.
Both are radiant, but one obviously more so. Both are glorious but one needs the other or it would have nothing to glory in. Now that the New Law has risen, we don’t need the light of the Old anymore. Do we still “need” the Old Testament? Yes! Do we still need the moon, even in the daylight? Yes! The Old Testament is still a valuable resource for learning and understanding (Romans 15:4) about God’s justice and grace, but it is no longer the Law we spiritually follow.
Its time is finished and a new Light has risen to guide us.