This is what God gave me today in his word:
For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory. Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (2 Corinthians 3:11-16)
Paul seems to have switched topics. First he’s talking about Moses’ fading glory, then he’s talking about a veil covering the Israelites hearts. Then he’s talking about a veil covering everyone’s heart, until they turn to the Lord and are saved. From these switches, we seem to pick up the idea that the, “veil” Paul is referring to has turned from something physical on Moses’ face to something Spiritual, which can cover the heart. So what exactly is this Spiritual veil that cover’s every unbeliever’s heart?
First, what is the Spiritual veil Paul is referring to? … Assuming there is an answer to that question.
Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. (2 Corinthians 3:7-9)
In both the physical and Spiritual case Paul is referring to pretty much the same thing; “the ‘ministry’ of death.” Commonly known as the law. The veil Paul is talking about, is the law. With that established, what is this other ministry Paul keeps referring to? Well if the ministry of death is the law, then we can safely assume that the ministry of righteousness is the thing opposite of the law; the cross. – But what takes off the veil? Paul mentioned turning to the Lord would take it away, but what does that mean?
It mean’s turning to the Lord. To be frank about it. How do we turn to the Lord? By the afore-mentioned cross. How does the cross help us turn to the Lord? By turning the lights really dim and playing soft music in the background? By psychologically effecting some deep part of the brain? No, and no again. The cross turns us to the Lord, by being the way we turn to the Lord. When Christ died for us on the cross, the veil covering our hearts was torn from top to bottom (along with the temple veil).
Second, what power does the law have now? … If it has any at all.
Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. (2 Corinthians 3:10)
The law doesn’t have power like it used to. For example, we are no longer under obligation to obey the The 613 Mitzvot commandments, or the Halakhah, Torah, or the Kashrut, to name a few. So to repeat the question, what power does the law hold, if any?
This is the power the law holds: the power to show us what we’re doing wrong and to point us to Christ. When the veil still covers our hearts and when we still are trying to obey the law; we find out that it’s impossible to obey the law. We just can’t do it, no matter how hard we command ourselves and try to force ourselves to obey the law, we always fall back into sin. That’s the power of the law. To make us realize our helplessness, so that we realize we need Jesus to save us.
The point being this: The Spiritual veil that covers everyone’s heart before they’re saved, is removed in one way. That way being simply turning to the Lord, which is accomplished in two ways. First the veil itself contributes to the cause, by making us realize how impossible it is for us to obey the law. Second, Jesus’ death on the cross is the way we turn to the Lord; By accepting Jesus as Lord, we turn to the Lord. All in all, Paul is simply reminding the Corinthians (and us) that life is much better without the veil than with it.
You are Loved!