Christ's victory parade
2 Cor. 2:14-17 Describing Christ’s victory over death, Paul uses the imagery of a Roman general’s victory parade. He sees Christ as a victorious soldier who has conquered death and who brings the evil powers who have submitted to him as ‘captives’ to be paraded before God.
The new covenant
2 Cor. 3:1-18 Paul compares the new spiritual ‘covenant’ – the living relationship with God kept alive by the guidance of the Holy Spirit in believers – with the old ‘covenant’ agreement written on stone tablets (see Exodus 32:15). This older covenant was a more formal relationship where the written code of Jewish religious laws was necessary to guide people in God’s ways.
In the same way as Moses wore a veil when his face was reflecting the dazzling glory of God (see Exodus 34:29), unbelievers’ minds are ‘veiled’ so they cannot see the truth when reading the scriptures, unless guided by the Holy Spirit.
2 Cor. 4:1-6 In contrast to those who have been kept in the dark by the ‘gods’ of this world, the Good News of Jesus brings light into people’s lives. This light stems from the glory of Christ, “who is exactly like God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The Good News of Jesus brings light to those in the dark (2 Cor. 4:4-6)
2 Cor. 4:7-15 Paul reminds the believers that life is fragile – like a common clay pot that can easily be broken into pieces. But when death comes, “we know that God will also raise us with Jesus… and we will stand before him” (2 Corinthians 4:14).
2 Cor. 4:16-18 Paul advises the believers to concentrate on eternal life, not just their present life. He adds, “What we see will last for only a short time, but what we cannot see will last for ever” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
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