By Brooke Holt
“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.” - 2 Corinthians 3:16–17
In the Lectionary readings this Sunday, we began with Exodus 34, when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai. After being in the presence of the Lord, the skin of Moses’s face shone so much so that the people were afraid to come near him. So Moses put a veil over his face to protect the people from the reflected glory of God that shone from him.
The New Testament writers explain that the veil covering the face of Moses represented the law of the Lord, the law written on tablets of stone. The external nature of the law separated man from God, as the perfect glory of the Lord was consuming and terrifying.
Now Paul reminds us of that veil. Jesus’s perfect sacrifice tore the veil and broke the separation between man and God. And Jesus’s resurrection invites believers into a relationship with the triune God. Paul explains how that relationship begins.
When you place your faith in Jesus Christ and his completed work on the cross for your sins, you are forgiven, accepted, and redeemed. The law that was once written on stone is now written on your heart through the Holy Spirit. You become a child of God and the dwelling place of God. Those things that you could not do in your own flesh—develop the fruit of the Spirit, break addictions, change thought patterns, pursue holiness—those things now become possible through the power of that Spirit within you. You have freedom! You are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1), from sin (Romans 6:7), and free from bondage to this world (Ephesians 2:2).
The season of Lent has just begun, and it is an ideal time to turn back to the Lord, to ask him to continue that redemptive work in your life, and to embrace the freedom offered through the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to help you cooperate with that freedom and more fully embrace it. Then, simply love and obey the Lord (1 John 5:2). Obey what he tells you to do, even if it feels hard. Your weakness is the opportunity to experience his power. And when you fail, his grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
How can you turn to the Lord today? What hinders you from seeing him, hearing him, or obeying him? Confess your sins and ask God to forgive you and lead you in his truth. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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