Friday, April 02, 2010

The Curtain Was Torn in Two

Mark 15:37-38 (New International Version)
37With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

My favorite part in the story about the death of Jesus is when the curtain in the temple was torn in two. Every time I read about it or watch it portrayed in movies, I get this sense of triumph in my heart.

The temple had two sections. The first was the Holy Place or the inner courtyard, where Jewish priests served and/or Jews were allowed to visit. The second was the Most Holy Place or the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God resided. Only the high priest was allowed to enter this place and he only entered once a year, to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people.

The curtain that closed off the Holy of Holies from everything and everyone else was heavy and thick. It tore in two at the death of Jesus. It signifies that God was no longer closed off to everything and everyone else. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have access to God. We can come to God. We no longer have to wait for the human high priest to atone for our sins. If we're Gentiles, he wouldn't have atoned for our sins anyway. Instead, there's a new High Priest, who atones for the sins of all people. His name is Jesus.

When that curtain tore in two, when the Holy of Holies was opened up, there was triumph. There was victory. And Jesus did that. For us. We can come to the Father now. We have hope now. And be forgiven. Be loved. Become part of a family. So what are we waiting for? Let's run to the Holy of Holies, the One waiting with open arms.

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