“The curtain secluding the Holiest Place in the Temple was split apart from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and rocks broke” (Matthew 27:51 TLB).
The Jewish community viewed the Holy of Holies as the place of God’s Shekinah glory, the dwelling of His divine presence. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and he could do that just once a year—at the Feast of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Throughout the centuries—from the moveable Tabernacle in the desert to the First and Second Temples—the Jewish people held the Holy of Holies in a profound sense of awe, respect, and fear.
In the Temple in Jerusalem, a purple, scarlet, and blue veil hid the Holy of Holies—God’s Court—and the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat that it contained. When Jesus breathed His last on the cross, God tore the veil apart. It is easy to imagine the Priests’ terror and incomprehension when they beheld this; the massive curtain was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and four inches thick.
Yet, in the moment when God tore the veil in two, He welcomed us through the blood of His Perfect Lamb so that we could step inside, both Gentile and Jew. While the physical rending of the curtain was spectacular, Jesus, our sacrificial substitute, bridged the cavernous, previously impassable gap between God the Father and us.
Through Jesus, we now have access to the Father and can enter into a living relationship with Him—a relationship that not only offers eternal life but healing and transformation for our lives right here and right now.
Risen from the grave and ascended to Heaven, Jesus is the great High Priest who intercedes for all of humanity. He is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that, through His descendants, the whole world will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). God’s redemptive plan has always been universal in scope, and His desire is that all would be saved.
Father, thank You for giving us access to Your presence in an unprecedented way through Jesus. We celebrate that the veil is torn, the tomb is empty, and our risen Lord will one day return!