REMOVING THE VEIL

A veil is often used to conceal or obscure to prevent others from seeing. Sometimes we may wear a veil or a mask because we don’t want people to see our weaknesses. At other times we may wear a veil because we’re reluctant to let others see God’s glory in our lives, because deep down, we may not believe that God could perform great works through us. This may be the reason why Moses wore a veil over his face,

and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. – 2 Corinthians 3:13

In this passage, the Apostle Paul made a distinction between the fading glory of the old covenant and the eternal glory of the new covenant,

But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. – 2 Corinthians 3:14-16

The old covenant of trying to keep the law was burdensome, whereas the new covenant brings freedom,

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. – 2 Corinthians 3:17

How do we experience this freedom? It starts as we come to God with an open and unveiled face. An unveiled face indicates that we have no pretense and no hindrances preventing us from perceiving spiritual realities,

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

The word “beholding” conveys the idea of a steady gaze with the result that one may reflect that which is seen. The amazing truth is that as we behold God, that we are able to reflect the image of Jesus Christ “from glory to glory”! We see that beholding leads to becoming. The Psalmist discovered this truth years ago,

They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. – Psalm 34:5

Our transformation in becoming more like Jesus is an ongoing process that occurs as we continue to behold Him. Warren Wiersbe summarized this process, “When the people of God look into the Word of God and see the glory of God, the Spirit of God transforms them to be like the Son of God.” Helen Lemmel wrote the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” to be used in Billy Sunday’s evangelistic crusades. This hymn captures the essence of this passage,

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.

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