Revelations from the Word

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The veil of the Temple was torn

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?... And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised" (Matthew 27:45-52).

In the Temple, as in the Tabernacle, the veil separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place; it was blue, purple, and crimson, representing respectively the heavenly, royalty and sacrifice (Exodus 26:31-35). Under the First Covenant, the high Priest would enter through this veil once a year, the day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to offer a sacrifice for his own sins and those of the Hebrew people. One could not enter the Most Holy Place on death penalty. The Holy Place represented the earth and the Most Holy Place represented heaven. The Holy Place had all the symbols of the things of God, that is to say the table of the bread of the presence and the Menorah, but in the Most Holy Place God Himself was present.

Hebrews 10:20 tells us clearly that the veil represents Jesus in the body of His flesh; therefore the Holy Place represents His earthly life and the Most Holy Place His heavenly life; on the one side He was the Son of Man and on the other, the Son of God. Because he was the 'son' of Joseph and Mary, Jesus was not in fact recognized as the Son of God by the inhabitants of Nazareth for His flesh acted as a spiritual veil (Luke 4:21-30). But on the cross, His bruised flesh was torn apart (died) as also was the veil of the Temple. After His Resurrection and after having ascended into Heaven, Jesus was established as High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the House of God forever (Hebrews 10:21).

So now the veil no longer exists, for Jesus has entered into Heaven, and we have a permanent access to God through Him. Inasmuch as man does not recognise the work of Jesus on the cross, the access to Heaven is closed to him. The centurion who was at the foot of the cross recognized that Jesus was righteous; so, for him, Heaven opened and he was able to glorify God. Jesus the High Priest is the only living Way, which leads to God the Father. Jesus 'tabernacled' when He came to earth in the form of a man to bring us grace and truth (John 1:14-17); now, through Him, we have access to this grace and to the truth (Jesus) which are forever before the throne of God (Psalm 89:14).