The Veil that Only Christ Removes

Easter 3 Thursday

Luke 24:25-27

“And [Christ] said to them: “You fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not Christ have to suffer this and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all of Scripture.”

 

It is true, we all would like to know which Scripture passages concerning himself the Lord adduced that they became so inflamed, strengthened, and convinced. This is so especially because there appears to be nothing in Moses that talks about how, as he says, he had to suffer and rise on the third day, and that in his name repentance and forgiveness is preached, etc. For before Christ, the Jews had Moses for a long time, just as they still diligently read him today, but they never found such a great strange thing in Moses. But the evangelist responds to this objection and resolves this argument: Their hearts burned when he explained Scripture for them and, as he says in the following gospel reading, that he opened their mind so that they understood the Scripture, Luke 24:45. There you have it: Moses certainly writes about Christ, and you can read it there. But the critical thing is that the one who reads also understands what it is. In the same way, Paul, in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, says that the veil of Moses remains before the face of the Jews over the Old Testament when they read it. Only Christ removes this veil. And as he says to his apostles in Matthew 13:11: “It has been given to you to perceive the mystery of the kingdom of heaven; but it has been given to the others to see and hear, but not to understand.” This is why Scripture is the kind of book that is not only to be read and preached. It also requires the right interpreter, namely, the revelation of the Holy Spirit. We see this in our current experience where we prove most lucidly from Scripture the articles of the pure doctrine and refute the adversaries’ error, but to no avail among them! In fact, there has never been preached an article of the faith that the heretics did not attack and contradict more than once, although they read the same Scripture we have. But such revelation also calls for the right students who gladly let themselves be taught and guided, as these good, simple disciples who are not the smart alecks and opinionated spirits and self-taught masters whose intelligence reaches far beyond heaven. For it is also such a teaching that wants to turn our wisdom into foolishness if it is to be believed and understood. For it does not come from man’s wisdom, as do other teachings and arts on earth that flowed from reason and that can be comprehended again by reason. This is also why it is impossible to grasp this teaching by reason. If you try to do so and to figure out how it rhymes with reason, you get away from this teaching. All the heresies since the beginning arose from this attempt. And Jews, pagans, and now also Muslims go crazy over our teaching and faith, because they are not according to reason and human wisdom. Only the good simple flock remains on this path and says: “God said it; this is why I will believe it.” They can grasp and understand it, as Christ himself says in Matthew 11:25 and thanks God with a glad heart that he hid these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to the little children. For there is just no way: You cannot explain to wise people and high reason the wonderful things concerning Christ, that the natural man is God’s Son from eternity, but that he died and rose again, and that he became a Lord in heaven and on earth also according to the human nature, and that he reigns forever in divine power over all creatures, although he is not seen anywhere; and that we are saved only for his sake, if we believe in him, etc. This is also why God had to arrange it so that those who do not want to be a fool and a child here and simply believe it also shall not understand it.

 

St. Louis ed., 11:671-673.

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