There are two completely different veils found in the book of Exodus, both of which have implications for us as New Testament believers in Christ. The first is found in chapter 26 as God is giving instruction for construction of the tabernacle. Here God prescribes a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread to be hung as the entrance to the Most Holy. This veil served the purpose of separating God’s presence from the holy place which contained the alter of incense, the table of showbread, and the golden lampstand.
After the nation of Israel arrived in the promised land the temple was erected to replace the tabernacle. A veil placed in the temple served the same purpose, to create separation between God’s holy presence and His people. One of the results of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the removal of the need for this separation. Matthew 27:51 records the tearing of this veil when Christ died for us, securing our admission to His presence by the atoning work of Jesus. There is no question that this veil has been removed, both physically and spiritually.
The second veil in Exodus is found in chapter 34 when Moses went into God’s presence on Mount Sinai. Moses removed this veil when coming into God’s presence and then replaced the veil when appearing before the nation. Unlike the veil in the tabernacle which stood between God’s presence and the people, this veil was put in place when Moses left God’s presence. Its intent was to shield the nation from the reflection of God’s glory that shone on Moses’ face.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18 talks about the spiritual removal of this veil. Just as removal of this veil from Moses’ face would have displayed God’s glory to the nation, we are called in 2 Corinthians to have an unveiled face so that God’s glory can reflect from us to illuminate those who He wants to reach. His goodness should be reflected from His people. Romans 2:4 tells us that it is the goodness of God that draws people to repentance. The veil that separates us from Him has been removed, as has the veil that prevents His glory from being reflected. Go about your day today radiant, reflecting His goodness for the nation to see.
One veil separates us from His presence, the other stops His glory from reflecting off of us to the nation. Neither are in place any more.