Thursday, 9 July 2015
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:14
Referring to the Jews, and any others who would follow in the misguided notion about the purpose and continuance of the Old Testament, Paul states that “their minds were blinded.” The word for “blinded” is poroo. It properly means, “made of stone; (figuratively) insensible; dull, unperceptive as a rock; calloused (hardened); i.e. unresponsive (dense), completely lacking sensitivity or spiritual perception.” For this reason, many translations prefer the word “hardened” instead of “blinded.”
The hardening of one’s eyes indicates a spiritual blindness, so the same concept is understood. However, this action is often as much self-willed and purposeful in some as it is lacking in others. In other words, there are those who have been told that Jesus permeates the Old Testament and is revealed in the New, but they willingly harden their minds to this fact.
The New Testament on numerous occasions shows that the law is fulfilled in Christ and thus it is nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14); annulled (Hebrews 7:18); obsolete (Hebrews 8:13); and taken away (Hebrews 10:9). These and multiple other references show that those who cling to the Old Testament for the application of their spiritual doctrine have “until this day the same veil” covering their spiritual senses that kept them from seeing Christ (or the fullness of His work) in the very law which is now abolished.
Paul couldn’t be clearer on this, and yet it is not only the Jewish people, but countless heretical sects which reintroduce the law and thus bring condemnation on themselves. In Christ is found the embodiment of the law. Therefore, in Christ is where we are to place our hopes. This veil which remains in place is “unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament.” Anytime the law is read to a person who is trying to be justified by the law, the veil remains. They have missed Christ and are attempting to seek a right-standing before God based on personal merit. It is a self-condemning act.
Finally, the NKJV ends this verse with, “because the veil is taken away in Christ.” This is a possible translation, but it is not the intent of Paul’s words. Notice that the word “veil” is inserted (italicized words are inserted); it is not in the Greek. In their translation they have incorrectly assumed that it is the veil which is taken away in Christ. But this is properly explained in verse 16. Rather, Paul’s words here are speaking of the law itself. In Christ, the law is taken away. Only when one realizes this is the veil then removed. Here is John Darby’s translation of this verse, rightly showing Paul’s intent –
“But their thoughts have been darkened, for unto this day the same veil remains in reading the old covenant, unremoved, which in Christ is annulled.” Darby
Once it is understood that the old covenant is annulled and a turning to the Lord has taken place, then verse 16 can occur – “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
Life application: If you are in a church which mandates precepts from the Old Testament – circumcision, Sabbath worship (meaning Saturday), tithing, etc. then get out of there. We do not reinsert into the New what has been annulled in the Old!
Lord God, would I sing songs about the work of Christ for me and then reinsert a law which is fulfilled in Him? Will I pick and choose certain precepts from the Old Covenant which is annulled in Him and decide that they need to be adhered to? Will I mandate Sabbath-day worship when He is my rest? Will I tell people that they need to tithe in order to be pleasing to You? No way! Jesus fulfilled the law and the law is obsolete. I stand on the work of Christ and my doctrine comes from the New Testament epistles. Thank You for Jesus who did the hard work for me so that I can rest in Him and follow in obedience to the New Covenant in His blood! Hooray for Jesus! Amen.