It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Right before Jesus died, it says that the curtain of the Temple was torn in two. Well, what does that mean? What’s the significance of that? Why did that happen?
In the Old Testament, there was a curtain in the back of the sanctuary that walled off a room called the Holy of Holies. Behind that curtain and inside the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. It was a chest that had the two stone tablets that God had written the Ten Commandments on and then given them to Moses. It had a piece of manna in it, the bread-like substance that God used to feed the Israelites in the desert when they crossed the Red Sea and came out of slavery in Egypt. And most importantly, the Bible tells us that God’s holy Presence hovered over the Ark of the Covenant.
No one was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies and see God’s Presence except for the high priest once a year. And when he went into the Holy of Holies, he had to have his assistant priests tie a rope around his ankle, because if he went into God’s Presence with any unconfessed sin, or with any sin that he hadn’t offered a sacrifice for, he would die, and the other priests would have to pull on that rope to drag him out.
God’s Presence was walled off by that curtain and only a sinless priest could go in and see God. But when Jesus died, that curtain was torn in half. Jesus’ sacrifice for us, Jesus’ blood, cleansed all of us of all of our sins and so now we can all enter God’s Presence without fear because we have all been forgiven. We have all been cleansed.
Before, only the priest could enter into God’s Presence, but now the way has been opened for all of us to approach God.
1st Peter 2:9:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
You are the priesthood. Every believer is a priest. You don’t need a priest or a pastor or any other person to get to God. You can enter into God’s Presence yourself any time you want to because you have now been made a priest as well.
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
The curtain of the Temple was torn in two. Jesus’ death opened the way for you and I to come to God personally, one on one, any time we want to because Jesus’ death took away all of our sins and purified us to enter into God’s Presence.
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