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Categorized | From the Pulpit

The Torn Veil 

Pastor David Vander Meer

Rockford Springs Community Church 

5815 Fourteen Mile Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341

 

Imagine with me a curtain, 60 feet high, by 30 feet wide. That is the height of a six-story building. It was reported that the curtain was as thick as a man’s hand breath, and so heavy that 300 priests would be employed to move and care for it. The historian Josephus writes (Wars 5,5,4) “It was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful.” 

This impressive curtain was in the Jewish temple at the time of the death of Jesus Christ. It separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, did the High Priest move the veil, and enter the Holy of Holies, and not without blood from the sacrifice that occurred in the court yard. And so the Israelite people learned from God how He was to be approached in worship. He was holy. There had to be a mediator with blood to enter His presence. 

But at the moment Jesus died, God tore the veil from the top to the bottom. Imagine what a noise that made. What did the High Priest think when he looked upon that great curtain, now in two pieces? 

But the crucial question is: “What did all this mean?” Why did God tear the veil—th very veil that God instructed the Israelites to construct, to separate His holiness from them, he suddenly destroys. Why? There are several answer and they are all great! 

In the Bible, Hebrews 9 teaches us that we have a new High Priest, Jesus the Christ. He is better than the old High Priest because He brings His own blood as our eternal sacrifice, and He does not need to enter, year after year, but only once. And this same High Priest, Jesus Christ, now lives in Heaven to pray for us. He is not in a building made by human hands, but rather in the heavens, seated at the right hand of God. And here is further good news, we can enter into His Holy presence, in the name of Jesus Christ, to speak personally with our Father. 

And, on top of all this, comes another important truth. God no longer resides in a temple, in a particular geographical location, but now He lives in the church. I Cor 3 says: 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (ESV) 

So, two great pictures for us to consider are displayed at the tearing of the veil. God invites us in because He is satisfied with the sacrifice of Christ. And two, God, by the power of His Spirit, has come out to be with us. I am so glad God tore the veil. This is great news. This is the gospel. Come, turn from any, and all sin, and enter into the Holy presence of God, and be prepared for Him to come into you. There is no longer any need to stay out, we are called to come in. AMEN! 

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