“But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.” Exodus 34:34-35 (Read v. 29-35)
When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with God’s commandments, he didn’t realize that his face shown with God’s glory because he had been in the presence of the LORD God. Because of it, the people were afraid to come near him.
Moses wore a veil over his face so that the people could not see the glory fading away (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:13). He took off the veil when he went in before the LORD in the tabernacle of meeting. He came out and told the people the words of the LORD and then covered his face with the veil until he next went in before the LORD.
As St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the same veil yet remained and prevented the people of Israel from seeing that the glory of the Old Covenant was fading away because its purpose was to point people to Christ and the New Covenant instituted by Messiah Jesus when He shed His blood on the cross and made atonement for the sins of all people (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8-9). It is only when people come to faith in Christ that the veil is lifted and people come to see the Old Covenant in its proper light – not as a way of salvation but pointing to Christ Jesus and the salvation He provided by His atoning sacrifice!
Today, too, people fail to see the fading glory of the Old Covenant and wish to use the New Covenant only as a patch on the Old. They miss out on the glories of the New Covenant and fail to take hold of the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting which are ours through faith in Christ Jesus and His blood shed for us upon the cross.
Does the veil still cover your eyes? Are you looking to your own works and obedience under the law for your salvation? Or has the veil been removed? Do you see your sins and failures under the law and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His perfect obedience and His innocent sufferings and death on the cross for the sins of the world as the basis of your salvation?
O glorious Savior, open my eyes to see my sins and shortcomings under the law and grant that I believe the gospel and place my faith alone in You and Your sacrifice upon the cross for the sins of the world. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible]