Life Behind the Veil
by Jodi Hiser
Summer brings upon us the happy season of weddings. When we attend a wedding, we may be interested in how the venue is decorated, or what kind of cake is served. But far more interesting to our eye is the attire of the bride. We come to see what kind of dress she wears, how she styles her hair, and the veil that adorns her head.
The veil has symbolized many different things in the epochs of history, all of them significant and weighty. The veil was meant to cover, separate, or shroud. In the days of Moses, a veil separated the holy place of the tabernacle from the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest was allowed into that special space, and able to talk with God. The people were cut off from this area, separated from the fullest presence of God. Similarly, an unbeliever suffers from this same separation today. When the Word of God is read, a veil lies over her heart. She is unable to hear it, unable to see its truth, unable to understand its meaning.
“…But when anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.” (2 Cor. 3:16)
This verse describes the experience of a new believer. This moment of regeneration is just like the special moment during the wedding ceremony when the minister declares the union of the husband and wife. In that glorious moment, the bride’s veil is lifted, and the groom steps forward to kiss his bride! The moment of intimacy has come. The two have been joined into unity as one. In the same way, God’s gift of faith removes the veil of separation from our hearts. A new believer is no longer separated from the God of all truth. And now, she has new eyes to see, new ears to hear, a new heart to understand His word. With the veil removed, she is now free to walk in obedience to His Word.
This is because “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor. 3:17)
Our understanding of freedom has been deeply marred by the sin of our culture, and we have been left with a dysfunctional view of true deliverance and liberty. True freedom does not involve the right to live however we want according to our latest whim or desire. True freedom does not involve choosing our own identities or deciding our own fate. True freedom comes as the result of faith in Jesus Christ, manifesting itself in the deliverance of sin from our lives and the ability to live apart from that sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.
With the veil removed, and with the new freedom by the Spirit, we have true liberation to walk in obedience to God’s Word. And as we do this, we are changed.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory…”(2 Cor. 3:18)
This is the picture of sanctification. The freedom of obedience brings a transformation to the believer. She is changing daily to look more and more like Christ, in whose image she has been made.
“For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
The beauty of our justification and our sanctification is that none of it is generated by our own power. The Holy Spirit reaches out His hand, tears the veil of our separation, and gives us the gift of faith. And the Holy Spirit, through His power, enables us to walk on the road of sanctification towards obedience, following the Word of God into greater union with Christ. The glory of Jesus continues to grow in us, so long as we cling to our Savior, studying and obeying His word. He will hold us fast and bring us one day to the ultimate marriage ceremony. In the marriage supper of the Lamb, we, the church, as the bride of Christ, will be joined in consummation with Christ our bridegroom. And on that day, He will clothe his bride in the wedding dress of glory, washed and adorned for an eternity with Him.