When Moses returned from Sinai it was necessary that a veil be placed upon his face because his face shone and this shining caused the people to fear looking upon him. “And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.” (Exo 34:30) So when Moses conversed with them, he did so with a veil upon his face. “And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.” (Exo 34:33)
In this we see a picture of the terror of the law which was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. A mount which could not even be approached or touched by man or beast lest they die. This is also a picture of the sentence of death (even as the executioner and the condemned man are often veiled) which is upon the heads of those who are under the law. Even as Paul says, “The ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away” (2Co 3:7) And it is a picture of the temporary nature of this “law” whose glory was to be done away with.
Not only that but it is most clearly a picture of the darkness which is upon the hearts of all who think that they can approach the LORD through the works of the law. “Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.” (2Cor 3:12-15)
This is the blindness which is upon natural Israel and subsequently upon all religious men of whatever stripe, who would consider that any of their actions could cause them to find favor in the sight of GOD. The kingdom of GOD is hidden from them by this same veil that covered Moses’ face. The difficult thing is that such men think that they can see but do not know that they are blind, halt, and lame. “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” (John 9:41) There is only left for them a certain fearful looking for judgment.
It was necessary that the law be given, because men by nature are lawless and disobedient and unto every good work, reprobate. The law is not given for a righteous man but for the lawless and disobedient. Therefore, the giving of the law manifested the deserved destruction of the wicked and takes away all grounds upon which a man might consider that he could find favor with GOD through his own supposed deeds of righteousness. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom 3:20) The law does not produce or prevent righteousness it simply reveals the unrighteousness of those to whom it is given
Yet just as surely as the law was given to manifest the justice of GOD in the damnation of the wicked, so too was it given to manifest the glorious grace of GOD in delivering elect sinners from its just condemnation through the atoning work of JESUS CHRIST. And as the true glory of GOD was hidden from the Jews by the veil upon Moses’ face so now that veil has been lifted and those who are given eyes to see can now behold the very FACE of GOD and live. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) He that hath seen the SON hath seen the FATHER.
This is the clear declaration of the FATHER when HE said, to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mat 17:5) and that which we read in the beginning of the book of Hebrews, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Heb 1:1-4)
When CHRIST was crucified, the veil (i.e.; curtain) of the temple was torn open, signifying that the way into the HOLY of HOLIES was opened. (see Heb.9:1-8) CHRIST has offered HIMSELF to GOD as a perfect sacrifice, “but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Heb 9:26). Those for whom HE made this sacrifice are one and the same with those who are given eyes to see HIS glory, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
We look for no other for we have now seen HIM who is the “LAMB of GOD which taketh away the sin of the world.” And we plainly declare that “HE is the GOD” with even more fervor than those who witnessed the fire fall from heaven and consume the altar on Mount Carmel in Elijah’s day.
For the glory which is revealed in HIM who hung on Mount Calvary is not a reflected glory,“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev 21:23) Rather it is that of the ONE who has life in HIMSELF and is pleased to give that life unto HIS children, so that they shall never perish nor be plucked from HIS hand.
1 Jehovah is my Sun; He shines into my heart;
Though clouds do often interpose, My Sun shall not depart.
2 This Sun has warmed my soul, When chilled by sin and death;
Its beams have shone with strength and heat, And made me strong in faith.
3 Whatever be my frame, My Sun no change can know;
Though I am dark, he still remains My light and glory too.
4 Nor death, nor sin, nor hell, Shall make him cease to shine;
And, though I cannot always feel His beams, he’s ever mine.
5 ’Tis no precarious light That shines on Zion’s hill;
’Tis God, essential light itself, And therefore cannot fail.
#546 by William Gadsby
“Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.” (1John 2:8)mam