“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] 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 3.2-18
The Lord. The Spirit. Veils on faces. Moses. The Old Covenant. Transformation. This is just a bit of the depth of what these seven verses describe.
For the most part, Paul is addressing former Jews. People who would understand the original covenant God made with his people through Moses. They would remember the story of Moses wearing a veil because the glory of the Lord was too great. But through Christ, the veil has been removed. The separation between people and God has been nullified through faith in Christ. Even though today, Paul writes, that a veil still covers the hearts of the unbelieving Jews. They did not receive Jesus as Messiah and so they remain hidden (like the veil) from God’s glory.
Paul is telling us that only through Christ is the veil taken away. When someone comes to Christ, accepts him as Messiah, the veil (and sin) is removed. For “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” We have freedom when we come to Jesus and give our lives to him.
Whenever I have had the privilege of leading someone to the Lord I see the veil removed from their eyes and heart when they accept Jesus by faith. It’s a tremendous transformation which is both instantaneous and gradual over time. The way we allow Christ to transform us is to believe in him, receive him and trust in him with our lives.
Paul had a big job! He was instructing a church full of Jews, and some Gentiles, hundreds of miles from Jerusalem in a Greek city far away. Yet Jesus Christ is the same in all places and at all times. And what Paul wrote, by the Spirit, for them, he writes for us.
Turn to the Lord. Allow the veil to be taken away. Pray for those who still have veiled faces and have yet to meet Jesus the Messiah.
“O Lord God, you are good. I praise you for loving me and for your power of transformation and salvation. We exalt your name and thank you for making a way for all people to remove the scales from their eyes and find grace in you. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and and love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen