"For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory . . . For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory." (2 Corinthians 3:9-11)
The Old Covenant was a covenant of the law. Its letters were engraved on tablets made of stone. The Old Covenant had its glory, but it was a transient glory that cast a pale and fading reflection of God's glory. It could point to God's nature, but it could not embody his character.
The New Covenant is a covenant of Spirit. It is inscribed on the hearts of men. The New Covenant has its own glory. It is a permanent glory that projects a vivid impression of divine glory. It does more than point to God's character, it makes holiness manifest in the flesh.
The ministry of condemnation provides no more than a background on which the glory of righteousness can be highlighted. The brilliance of God's righteousness is most visible when men open their hearts and the dead letters of the law are replaced by the life and liberty of the Spirit.