2Co 3:15-18 “But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
The word of God is accurate and true in every generation. Paul wrote these words over 1900 years ago. They conveyed the truth at that time, and they still convey the truth today. When Moses is read, the vail is upon the hearts of God’s covenant people. Paul did not intend by this that the reading of the scripture that we call the Old Testament (and the only scripture Paul possessed in his day) places a vail upon the heart.
The vail exists when Moses is read. There is a vail (a covering) hiding the majesty of God’s truth when we look at the scriptures of the Old Testament as having nothing to teach us about Jesus and His Bride. Handling the word of God as though the Old Testament scripture holds nothing for us but condemnation or as if it is only a history hides the real beauty and power of His word from our hearts.
It was in the Old Testament scriptures that we first learned of Jesus’ virgin birth, of His death, burial, and resurrection, and of the love He has for His bride. Jesus declared His kingdom and power from the law and prophets. Phillip taught the Ethiopian eunuch about Jesus from the writings of Isaiah (Act 8:30-35). The writers of the epistles quoted the law and prophets. Paul declared that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. The vail comes when we read any of the scripture without expecting to find Christ taught in them.
When our hearts are turned to the Lord, then the vail is taken away. Once the vail is removed, we can see the gospel of Christ and the teaching of the church in Genesis, in Isaiah, in Micah just as much as we can in the four Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles, or the epistles. Reiterating his point from the third verse, Paul assures us that the Lord is that Spirit that has written in our hearts and removed the vail.
Without being taught by the Holy Spirit, all of God’s word is a hidden mystery from the hearts of men. However, where that Spirit is, there is liberty from the deadly conclusion of the law as given to Moses. The law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ has liberated us from the law of sin and death. There is a miraculous power in this Spirit as it works in our lives.
We are not looking through the vail. Instead we see reflected back to us the glory of the Lord. When we are blessed by God to look into the glory of that first ministration (which was glorious – v.7), we see the truth of who we are in ourselves before the righteous God. We see the truth of our desperate need of a Savior. The glory (honor, dignity) of that showed us that we are sinners with no hope in ourselves of pleasing God.
However, when the vail is removed from our hearts, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory. We are changed from the image of unrighteousness before God (which is glorious) to the image of the righteousness of Jesus Christ (which is exceeding glorious). This transformation from glory to glory comes through the Spirit of the Lord.
May we praise Him always for the great things He has done!