Exodus 33:19 "And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."
All Moses wanted to do is see God. What is wrong with that? Cannot all of us say the same thing? Church father St Augustine wrote, "We were created that we may see God." I've used that quotation a number of times when I was asked, 'Why are we here?' Certainly it is not wrong for us to seek to be closer to God, and also to know him. But how and where do we know him?
A fine catechetical answer would be "In what he has created." And yes this is true. Through God's creation we can search God out, know his power, know his Glory. But in creation is also where everyone else looks to find out about their gods, the pagan gods or the god of science. Through God's creation we can know only a fraction of who God is. So where can we know him better?
Walk up the steps of a mountain. As with Peter, James, and John, we will see God on a mountain. As with Moses we will see him on a mountain. As with Elijah, God speaks to us on a mountain. Walk up the steps of Mount Calvary.
See Christ crucified. There in Christ you see all the fullness of God wrapped in all the fullness of man. You see his glory yes, but all the more important you see his grace, his love, poured out for you, poured out for me, poured out for the whole world. Psalm 98:2 says 'The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.' We have a God who has revealed himself by hiding himself, and yes revealed himself all the more by dying and rising from the dead. In the personage of Christ we see God not as a fraction, as a part, but as a whole.
We will see the Glory of God in the world to come, but for now it is sufficient for us to see his cross. How glorious it is!