“The Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! All of us with unveiled faces, as if gazing into a mirror upon the radiance of the lord, are being transformed into the same image; from radiance to radiance, as from the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
The scriptures bring life and death. (2 Cor 3) Until we come to Jesus, scripture is a mirror (1 Cor 13) which only reflects the sickly and wounded condition of our own souls. When we read into a mirror we reap a message of condemnation upon our selves and project a message of judgement upon others. As a veil covers the face of the bride so too do our wounds obscure the truth. In such a state we can hardly see past the end of our own noses. This is how our ancestors encountered the law (2 Cor 3) while God was in courtship with the cosmos. But when we turn to Christ the wedding veil is taken away (2 Cor 3) and the courtship with God comes to an end. Through Jesus the scriptures become a window into the heart of God. Instead of looking into a dimly lit mirror (1 Cor 13) we see clearly through the cosmic portal into the face of the one in whose image we were made. And as we gaze into that portal we find that we ourselves are being transformed from radiance to radiance into the same image of beauty we are beholding. In Jesus the imperfect (1 Cor 13) union of our spiritual courtship is annulled (2 Cor 3) and we enter into the perfect (1 Cor 13) love of divine marriage.
Until the wedding day we are only engaging in the gift giving and flirtations of courtship which allude to our desire for self-disclosure and intimacy. But when the wedding comes (1 Cor 13) the veil is lifted. In marriage our relationship becomes the gift we give to one another. In marriage intimacy is no longer mimicked through material acts but instead we give our entire bodies as living sacrifices of union. So it is with God. Where once we used pretty words, statements of intent, promises of the future, and ritual acts of service, we now live in faithfulness, hope, and love. (1 Cor 13) Our intimacy becomes a way of life. In Christ the intent of courtship, the law, is fulfilled. For this reason courtship brings about the death of our old lives (the law) and marriage (the lifting of the veil in Jesus) brings us into oneness with the Spirit our creator.
The old covenant is our courtship and the new covenant is our marriage. Just as it is with human relationships, courtship brings about the death of our old selves and marriage brings about the mystical union of the Spirit. The ministry of the scriptures bring death but the ministry of the spirit brings life.