(2 Corinthians 3:12-18)
There is a process in corporations law that is known as lifting the veil of the law. It applies to the ability of the courts to get behind the protections in corporations law to hold the directors of a company accountable for their actions when they act unconscionably or defraud shareholders, investors or the community.
This process is one that brings people who have done the wrong thing to account so they can be judged and if necessary condemned for their actions.
Now what we see in this section of scripture is another process of lifting the veil of the law, not for corporate entities but for individuals. But the process in Christianity is very different. In corporations, it leads to condemnation, but in Christ, it leads to freedom. And it is this freeing process we will look at here
Veil of The Law
These verses tell us that the law of Moses acts like a veil. Now think about a veil for a moment. A veil is designed to hide something so that it cannot be seen either clearly or at all. A veil prevents people from seeing what lies behind the veil and similarly prevents those behind the veil from clearly seeing what is beyond the veil.
This is important, especially when we read the first few lines of this section of scripture.
12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. 14 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. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds – (2 Corinthians 3:12-15)
When something is hidden behind a veil, it cannot be seen. For many, it may as well not exist since it is hidden so that they cannot see the thing that is veiled. And even if they are aware of such a thing, it’s purpose and form is unknown because it cannot be clearly perceived.
Thus, if anyone speaks to someone who is veiled in this way, the veiled person rejects what they have to say because they have no knowledge of what lays behind the veil. And as the scripture says, their hearts are hardened because they cannot accept what they cannot see. The issue is a question of faith and the ability to believe what cannot be seen because in Christ, when we believe, then we see.
So what is it that cannot be seen when a person’s mind is covered by the veil of the law? The simple answer is freedom.
Now, this is the opposite of what existed in the past with corporations law. The corporation’s law was originally established to provide companies to act with freedom and protect the directors of the company. The corporation was established to have its own legal identity and it could sue and be sued, but the directors as individuals could hide behind the corporation’s law and remain immune from the scrutiny of the courts.
However, in recent decades that has changed as corporations grew to massive size, some even larger economic entities than certain sovereign states. And as they grew it became clear that while the corporation was its own legal entity, it was people in the corporation who wielded the power of the corporation and who used the corporate structure to act in ways that were never intended. This the need to lift the veil of the corporate law to condemn those directors and managers who acted badly.
In the religious world, the law of Moses exists to define sin and condemn those who break the law. Unlike the original intent of corporations law, this law did not give people the freedom to act unconscionably, but punished and condemned those who did wrong, as it still does today.
However, we see in verses 14, 16 and 17 of this section of scripture, the veil of the law can be lifted. And when it is lifted it brings freedom to individuals.
14 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. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – (2 Corinthians 3:14-17)
You will note the sections I have emphasised in these verses that the process for removing the veil of the law of Moses is to come to Jesus Christ. Unless and until a person seeks the truth in Jesus Christ, that veil of the law remains over the mind of a person and they cannot see the truth that Christ can and will set you free.
The very reason that Jesus Christ appeared was to “…take away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29) Jesus also set man free from the law of Moses and lifted the veil of the law for those who believe in Him and follow the path He set out. That path is based upon faith and is to repent, be baptised into the death of Jesus Christ and to receive the Holy Spirit.
Now we know that the law is holy, just and good. So you may ask the question why would God want to set man free from the law through Jesus Christ?
The simple answer is that He Did this for the process of transformation. He needed to remove sin and the law to begin the work of transforming mankind into His own image, which is the image of perfection and love.
Think about it this way. If a person ALWAYS does what is good, right and just, do they need a law? Is it necessary to bind people under the law if they never do and could never do the wrong thing? This is what perfection is and this is what God wants for His people. As the Bible says, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
But how can we who were born in sin and confined under the law, which continually condemns us as sinners, ever become perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect? How can we be transformed into His image when we are weak and suffer the frailties of humanity?
This is why God had to remove sin and take away the law that condemns us as sinners so that He could step in and work with us and in us to make the changes. He could not help us until sin and the veil of the law was taken away because God gave up on mankind because of sin, as is clearly stated in Romans chapter 1. But when sin and the law are removed through faith in Jesus Christ and by taking on His death and resurrection as our own in baptism, then God says He is prepared to help those who believe so that they can overcome in their lives.
And He knows we will still fail and fall and make many mistakes. But that is why He gave us His grace. It is in and through grace that God overlooks our failures and mistakes as we walk the path to perfection in Jesus Christ.
The path to transformation will not happen overnight. It is a long and slow process, as the scripture tells us.
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. – (2 Corinthians 3:18)
This is how the transformation takes place. We are being changed ever so slowly into the likeness of Jesus Christ from “…one degree of glory to another.” And we must remember, this is not our work or our doing. God the Father established the process and gave His grace to enable it to work. Jesus Christ came to teach us how it would work and then die and be raised again as the perfect, sinless sacrifice so that we could be set free from sin and the law by faith. And finally, as we see in the verse above, the work of change and transformation is carried out in us by the working of the Holy Spirit. It is the function and the job of the Spirit to work on us and in us until we are transformed fully into the image of perfection in Jesus Christ and the Father.
The process of transformation does not and cannot occur until the veil of the law is removed. While a Christian continues to believe they are under the law, they are under the power of sin because law IS the power of sin, as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:56. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. This is why it is so critical that the veil of the law is removed because while a person is under the power of sin, they cannot be transformed into the image of the Father who is eternally without sin.
So the question for all Christians is this: What do you believe? Are you still a sinner bound by the law or do you believe your sins are taken away and the veil of the law has been removed so that God, through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit can transform you into His image?
You might also like:
Jesus Is Lord Of The Sabbath
The Great Commission Part 2
The Great Commission Part 3
Jesus Fulfilled Law
Its Not About The Law
Grace And Truth Came Through Jesus Christ
Jesus Came To Save Not To Condemn
Are You A Sinner
The Truth Will Make You Free
Why Jesus Died
What Is Truth
The Most Important Thing
Keeping The Law Of Moses
A Letter To The Church
Christians And The Law
Why You Are Freed From Law
The Reign Of Grace
You Are Not A Sinner
You Are Not Under Law
How Freedom From Law Works
Faith Is The Key
Mystery Of The New Covenant