Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18.
What great news – the veil is taken away! The veil of sin that separates us from God; that stops us having an intimate relationship with Him, has been removed through Christ’s death on the cross. We can now have unveiled faces!
In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul writes about this: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ…” Sadly, the “god of this age” can also blind our minds as Christians! And centuries before, Isaiah foretells – “On this mountain he [Jesus] will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples.” Isaiah 25:7. Yes, God has made the way open for all of us, to have the veil removed!
I think of a child, knowing that they have done something wrong, stands before their father, with their head down – the last thing they can do is look at him. Guilt is written all over their face. Yet when they acknowledged the wrong and said sorry, the eye contact was instantly restored! And so it is for us, even as members of God’s family, when we sin. Through repentance, we no longer need to live with the guilt and shame which causes us to bow our heads. We are set free, we can lift our heads up high and look God confidently in the eye! We are told here that we are to “contemplate” God’s glory. Other translations use the word “behold” or “reflect” instead. Initially, these words can appear contradictory, yet I can remember when God used the image of the sun and the moon to give me some understanding. The moon (like us) has no light of itself, but as it beholds the sun, it, in turn, reflects it. Full reflection is only hindered when the “earth” gets in the way!
Contemplating, beholding God, causes us to be progressively “transformed into His image,” to become Christlike. This is what God wants for us and it something He makes possible. The word “transformed” comes from the Greek word for metamorphosis – the process of a caterpillar changing into a pupa, and then into a butterfly. Certainly, this is not something that we can do through self-effort! We abide, we behold, He transforms!
Thank you, Father, that You have removed the veil that separated me from You. And thank You, that not only can I have an intimate transforming relationship with You, but that I can also be a reflector of Your glory to those around me. Amen