Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” [Hebrews 10:19-20 NKJV]
Paul said that the old covenant led to death [verse 1], brought condemnation [verse 9] and was passing away [verse 7], and yet it was glorious! The face of Moses shone with God’s glory after he had spent time on the mountaintop in the presence of God. Because this glory was fading, Moses had to cover his face with a veil. There was no understanding of the truth among the people, and even today, as people read the Old Testament this veil and blindness of the truth remains [verses 13-14]
Does this mean that we should not read the Old Testament? Of course we should, and I suggest for five reasons. Firstly, it teaches us of God’s work in history – His plan and purposes. Secondly, it teaches a great deal about the nature and character of God. Thirdly, the Old Testament points to the New, and foreshadows things to come. Fourthly, the Old Testament was the Bible that Jesus used, and fifthly, The Old Testament gives us many examples so that we walk in right ways and not in ways of evil [see 1 Corinthians 10:1-6].
However, we can only fully understand the Old Testament by believing in Christ and turning to Him [verses 14,16].
The old covenant may have been glorious but in Christ there is greater glory.
On the cross Jesus made a way for us to enter into the presence. As He died the veil in the temple was torn apart and we have access into the Holy of Holies, literally the presence of God. It is no longer just one man who represents God’s people, but all may come. As Paul writes, in Christ the veil has been taken away. The glory of this new covenant is that we can be totally right with God [verse 9], we can enter with boldness into God’s presence [verse 12], we have freedom [verse 17] and as we spend time in God’s presence we are mirrors to others of His glory [verse 18]. We too can know, like Moses, and yet in even greater measure the glory of the Lord. Moses had to come down the mountain from the presence of God and back to the people, but we now dwell constantly in His presence. Jesus gave us a wonderful promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” [Matthew 28:20].
In this time of grace we never have to leave the presence of God!
These wonderful truths are all in Jesus. Paul makes it so clear when he says, “And this veil can only be removed by believing in Jesus” [verse 14 NLT] and “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away” [verse 16 NLT]. This is why we so often hear people, who turn from sin to Christ and believe on Him, say, “I can see it now!” Understanding follows the step of faith
What are the five reasons why we should read the Old Testament?
What four specific blessings does Paul give in our Bible passage today for those who put their trust in Jesus?