Last weekend I was down in Nowra, N.S.W. conduc6ng a wedding. The young couple met in our old youth group several years ago and have been an item ever since. The wedding was conducted at an historic chapel at Meroo Meadow that was built by Alexander Berry in the1870’s. The bride and groom had six aIendants each and the bridal party arrived in the biggest stretch Hummer that I have the bride became more and more radiant as the day unfolded.
I’ve been involved in a lot of weddings and very few brides have veils that cover their faces today. Traditionally the veil symbolised the bride’s virtue and by lifting it, the groom took possession of his new wife. In some cultures, lifting the veil was also be the first time the groom’s family saw the bride. In the Bible we are reminded of the story of Jacob who was deceived into marrying Leah before Rachel because she wore a thick veil that concealed her true identity.
So that brings the question. Who’s behind the veil?
Moses is said to have worn a veil over his face after coming down from Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34) when he realised that by being in the presence of God his face radiated with light and frightened the Israelites. The Apostle Paul took a different view of this event when he wrote that Moses deliberately covered his face to prevent them from seeing that the radiance of being in God’s presence was fading. The veil then became a form of deception that covered over the truth of the old covenant until Jesus came an instituted a new covenant and removed the veil from our hearts and minds so that we could see God in all his glory, revealed in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus’ glory was revealed to his disciples on the Mount during his transfiguration – the disciples had a fleeting glimpse of Jesus unveiled. They had not realised it yet, but the old covenant of the 10 commandments was being superseded by the glorious and unfading radiance of the new covenant. This new covenant, established in Christ, brings righteousness, hope and freedom. Paul wrote, ‘the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:17). This then is no veiled gospel that we proclaim, but the hope of glory in our heart radiating the joy of our salvation.
Many of us live out our faith behind a veil. Which poses the question, why?
Are you dulled to the truth – revealed in Jesus; and need to choose to step out and see Jesus for who he is?
Are you like Moses, concerned that people will realise that you haven’t been spending enough time in the presence of God and so put up a type of façade?
Or, do we allow Christ to remove the veil and take possession of his bride and see him for who he is; reflect on his glory and allow ourselves to be transformed into his likeness.
That’s the challenge. What’s behind the veil? One day all will be revealed…it’s beIer that it’s sooner than later.