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. [2 corinthians 3:14]
God’s glory. all consuming, all satisfying, transformative. we love it, we fear it, we need it. to be in the presence of the one who made us is the very reason we were made. so, what would prevent us from being in His glorious presence?
when sin entered the world in the garden of eden, God had to remove his physical presence from people. we know he is too holy to be in the presence of sin. so, sin separates us from the glory of God.
when God chose a people for himself, to represent him to a broken world, he provided a way to be present among them. through the building of the tabernacle, through the ministry of the priests, and through the sacrifice of animals, God kept his covenant with his people. however, a veil lay between them and God in the tabernacle. only God’s specifically chosen servant could enter the most holy place, and this was a rare occasion. this veil separated them from the glory of God.
the Israelites tried and tried to keep the law of the covenant. they even tried adding more to the law to make it more strict. they pretended to be perfect at keeping it and condemned those who weren’t. they were getting the glory because they thought the law reflected their own glory instead of the one who gave them the law. the real glory was still veiled, and although they had access to it, they rejected it. they wanted to be their own savior. the old covenant itself was not their downfall, it was their idolatry of it. their idolatry was hardening their minds. their hardened minds were separating them from the glory of God.
our sin, our blinding veil, and our hardened hearts still keep us from seeing God’s all consuming, all satisfying, transformative glory.
who is sufficient for these things? (vs 16)
only Jesus Christ. he is the only one with the authority to forgive our sins. through his victorious death on the cross, our sins are removed as far from us as the east is from the west. (psalm 103:12) he is the only one that could tear that veil separating his people from the presence of God, and give us access to the throne of grace. (matt 27:51, eph 2:18, heb 4:16) he is the only one who can soften our hearts and give sight to our blind eyes. (luke 4:18, ps146:8) through Jesus Christ, we can be in the presence of God!
today, come confidently into the presence of your Maker. Jesus has granted you access. your sin is not too great. lay it down before him. your mind is not too hard. let him transform you. the veil has been torn. stop trying to mend it. ask God for his all consuming, all satisfying, transforming glory to be restored in you.
for God, who said, “let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. [2 corinthians 4:6]
~ arwen eastman