2Co 3:11-14 “For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.”
We know what it is to remember past glory. As we get older, we may look back on a particular game from our high school days that played out particularly well. Perhaps we remember some trip or some award we won for our efforts in music or theater. For some of us, the time has come in our lives that we look back and remember the glory of our childhood home surrounded by the love and guidance of good, faithful parents.
All these things may have held some glory for us, but they are in the past. One of the saddest things we will ever witness is someone who is so mired in the remembered glory of the past that they cannot rejoice in the glory of the present. Instead of being thankful for the glory we have around us in the present, we are swallowed up in resentment for that which we perceive as being lost.
Paul tells us two things here that we should remember and be thankful for. First, the service that we have given to God in the past out of a sense of legal responsibility was glorious. It was honorable, and in that service we worshipped God to the best of understanding. Our service under the law was so that we might, through the law, become dead to the law and live unto God (Gal 2:19).
Once we have tasted that the Lord is gracious (1Pe 2:3), our longing for past glory ought to be swallowed up in the glory that remains. Instead of the glory of a service that required the sacrifice of animals to roll back the remembrance of sin, we have a glorious service secured by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who put sin away from us. Where our hope in the law became the realization of condemnation, our trust in Christ becomes the joy of life.
Because of the truth of life in Christ Jesus, we are able to speak boldly and plainly of His calling in our lives. We willingly declare that He is our salvation, and in Him there is no end. The righteous glory (dignity, honor) of the law was in the fact that God’s law was just and would bring about a just end; the death of all who were guilty of the law. One man, Jesus Christ, came forth with the power and authority to take that sin upon His shoulders and bring God’s righteous law to its conclusion.
Some were blinded to the true conclusion of the law. They saw in it an opportunity to claim some glory for themselves. We see such an attitude in the story of the Pharisee and publican (Luke 18:11). The law was abused so that men might suppose one group to be better than another. There are some to this day who think their righteousness is sufficient. Their minds are still blinded to the simple truth that, without Christ, we are all dead. In Christ, the law was abolished (done away with), not as though God decided the law did not matter anymore. On the contrary, the law is done away with because its demands were both met and destroyed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
May God bless us to see Christ, who had done away with the vail!