My oh my. As I was reading in 2 Corinthians this morning, the Lord opened my eyes to something. It began with a thought about Paul and a veil.
Prior to Paul becoming the author of much of the New Testament, he was known as Saul. Saul was a respected devout Jewish Pharisee who knew the Scriptures – the Old Testament to us – very well. He was, as many of the Pharisees were, extremely zealous to follow God’s commands to the letter and to defend God’s holy name.
When Jesus’ disciples began to speak boldly about him after his death and resurrection, stating that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, Saul declared war on anyone who followed this belief that Jesus was the promised Messiah. But then, Jesus himself, who had risen from the dead and had witnessed Saul’s rampage against the Church and his Bride, appeared to Saul. Jesus declared who He was and is.
“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank… So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; …And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.’”
Acts 9:3-5, 8-9, 17-18, 20
Jesus took the time to reach out to Saul personally. This direct contact totally rocked Saul’s belief of the Scriptures, ultimately changing Saul’s understanding and misdirected passion. Saul soon recognized that he had misinterpreted who their Messiah was, and that Jesus was not only throughout the Old Testament but that He fulfilled all of the prophecies about their Messiah as well. This is when Saul became Paul. Not only had his heart changed, as well his identity, but now his understanding of Word of God had too. The veil had been lifted, and he could see clearly.
Paul’s heart had been closed to the truth, symbolic of his eyes being closed too. In a display of mercy and to give Saul an understanding of the truth, he literally blinded Saul’s eyes, to where he couldn’t see anything for 3 days (ironically the length of time Jesus was in the grave). This personal introduction to the Lord gave him new perspective about the truth of God, which opened his heart and his eyes to Jesus as the Messiah. The literal and spiritual veil over his eyes was lifted!
Now known as Paul, he soon wrote this of the Jewish people:
“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
That’s it! It is by meeting the Lord Jesus that this veil which blinds people is lifted from them! Only by knowing Jesus Christ can we understand what the Word of God is about and says, and see clearly who God is.
This is how we ought to pray for God’s chosen Jewish people, and for those who need to see Jesus:
for the veil (of the Old Testament, and of Satan’s blinders) to be removed, like scales falling from their eyes, that they see the truth of who Jesus truly is, and find their salvation in thither Lord who is written throughout the Scriptures.
Here is the best part: in a wedding scenario, who lifts the bride’s veil? The groom! Our groom as Christ’s church is JESUS. He alone can lift the veil from people’s hearts and eyes, and call them to himself to be his bride.
“And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,..”
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Food for thought: Are you ready to have your eyes opened and meet Jesus face to face? He will meet you right where you are.
Fun facts: About 2.5% of the US population are Jewish, whether by birth, identity or religion. Approximately 74% of Israel is Jewish by ancestry.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – The Eye of Man