The Rent Veil
Matthew Chapter 27 Verse 51
Death of Jesus – the One who possessed immortality – gave up the Ghost – miracle of all miracles.
The veil of the Temple was made to endure – it was a work of fine twisted linen, with cherubim’s of cunning work. Substantial fabric, able to endure the severest strain. It concealed the Holiest place of all. At the death of Jesus it was rent from top to bottom.
Amongst the Jews and the people of the East, they would rend their garments when in mourning. Now it seemed as though the Temple rent its veil at it s masters death. The outward symbol of the true Temple of God tore its Holy vesture from top to bottom.
It revealed the end of the ceremonial law. The ordinances of the earthly priesthood were over. Christ had given up the Ghost – separation of body and soul. The soul of the Temple had fled through the rent veil leaving the earthly Temple as a dead thing! God would no longer dwell in thick darkness or between the cherubim. The typical atonement and sacrifices had come to an end.
Once every year the High Priest solemnly lifted a corner of the veil with fear and trembling, and with blood and Holy incense he passed into the immediate Presence of Jehovah. On Christ’s death the veil was rent in twain, opening the way for all believers into the Presence of Jehovah.
Let me ask three questions: -
1. What had happened in the Temple at the death of Jesus?
2. What does this enable us to do?
3. How do we do it?
First of all the veil has been rent. There was under the law this ordinance that no man should ever go into the Holiest of all, apart from the High Priest, and he only once a year and not without blood. If anyone else had tried they would have died. Who can stand in the Presence of a consuming fire? Even the Holy place was off limits to the ordinary folk, they were kept at a distance.
Remember when the Lord gave Moses the law at Sinai, He told him to set bounds unto the people round about. If anyone had breeched these bounds then they would have died. There was no invitation to them to draw near. Now at the rending of the veil we are invited to draw near. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Reverence in prayer is to be commended, but now we must have a childlike confidence as we approach His throne. Now God asks you – why are you standing afar off – draw near with full assurance of faith. The veil is rent. Access is free.
Sin is the great divider between god and man. Sin makes us walk in the opposite direction from God. It causes death. How can two walk together except they be agreed? How can a Holy God have fellowship with unholy creatures? Jesus put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself. His body was rent, the veil was rent and He taketh away the sin of the world. Listen to what He says, " their sins and iniquities will I remember no more". The blood of Jesus Christ, god’s Son cleanses us from all sin. God justifies the sinner who believes. He who was our judge is now our Father.
It is not only what we have done but also what we are that keeps us apart from god. Paul says, " When I would do good evil is present with me." Our whole nature is tainted, corrupt, poisoned with sin. The death of Jesus has not only taken our sin away but he has put His laws in our mind and he has given us a new heart. A heart and mind that seeks after God, righteousness, holiness – that hates sin and labours after perfection. A heart that loves things that God loves.
You tell me that you see that the veil is taken away, you see an access made available to you, you believe that your sin has been forgiven and yet there is a gulf between you and your God. Creator and creature. Jesus bridges that gap. Though He is God yet He is surely man. The gap is bridged through the death of Jesus. His death brought Him to the tomb and the veil that hung between the nature of God and the nature of man is rent in the Person of Jesus. We enter the Holiest of all through His flesh which links manhood to Godhood. It was God’sa Holiest of all through His flesh that links manhood to Godhood. It was God’s hand the rent the veil, not man’s! One further question before I move on. How wide was this rent in the veil? It was wide enough for the chief of sinners to enter in.
Now we come to our second point. What does this enable us to do? We now have boldness to enter in. It took boldness to faze at the Holiest place of all when the veil was rent. Many present would have feared sudden death. The Holy Spirit invites us to look into the Holy place to view the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant.
Is looking enough? There is much to think upon even in looking, however He does not leave us outside gazing. He bids us to enter in that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience communion with God. We are able to speak to Him. At first we may tremble at the Divine Presence however the more of the spirit of adoption we learn, then we are made to feel comfortable- we are at home with our God.
Truly our fellowship is with the father and with His son Jesus Christ. The veil does nothing for us if we only stand and gaze from the outside. This is a place for prayer. There is no fear of your prayer not being heard because the very fact that you are there is evidence enough that you have been accepted in the Beloved.
When the High priest stood before the Lord in the Holy Place, He stood in simple white linen garments. We stand in Christ Jesus. When he came out he wore the breastplate and precious ornaments and he blessed the people. The more time that we spend in the Holy Place the greater the blessing we will be to our fellow man.
Our boldness comes from the fact that we are relying wholly upon another and not upon any merit in ourselves. The sacrifice of Christ was perfect. It cannot be added to and nothing can be taken from it. It has been accepted by God and He cannot be punished twice. Where does a child have his or her greatest boldness? Is it in the house of a stranger or in their father’s house?
Finally, how do we exercise this grace? Having therefore brethren boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. We will have no boldness without blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Jesus died a long time ago, however the relevance and power of His death are as fresh today and to us as if it had just taken place. We come to God by a new way. God’s way. It is a new and living way. God in human flesh is our way to God.
If death were to find while we were within the veil – Heaven would bring a great change in our condition but not in our standing. Come now with boldness unto the throne of grace with boldness that you may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. There is no barrier between yourself and your God but you!