The Tearing of the Veil
Matthew 27:45-54 says,
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
At the death of Jesus, God turned what was the world’s greatest tragedy into our greatest triumph. With every crack of the whip, the bonds that entangled you and me to the sin and darkness of this world became a little looser. And with Jesus’ final breath the earth shook and the rocks split under the magnitude of the power of Christ’s sacrifice. Only God could take the greatest injustice and turn it into the world’s greatest good. Only God could take death and produce abundant life for all.
Out of everything that resulted from Jesus’ final breath, none was more important than God’s tearing of the veil. The veil that signified the necessary separation between God and man was ripped in two from top to bottom, from God down to us. The great chasm over which no man could cross was now covered by a bridge created by God’s wrath poured out on Jesus. The tearing of the veil represents the very purpose for Jesus’ death: that God could now once again have restored communion with his people. No matter how many or how horrendous our sins might be, Jesus’ death gained victory over it all.
Just as the saints who had fallen asleep were raised at Jesus’ death, you and I have been raised to newness of life. We are caught up in the glory of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. God has made unveiled, face-to-face relationship with him available to us once again.
If God would pay the price of Jesus’ death to have restored relationship with us, encountering him face-to-face must be the absolute best way for us to live. If God considers restored relationship with you worth the death of his only and blameless Son, he must place his highest value on total communion with you.
Maybe the concept of having real, tangible encounters with your heavenly Father is new to you. Maybe he feels distant. Maybe you come in and out of his presence day-to-day. Wherever you are in relation to God, know that nothing can separate you from him any longer. The death of Jesus was more powerful than any sin, lie, or belief. His death paid the entirety of your debt. There is nothing left to pay. Seek out a revelation of what it looks like to encounter your heavenly Father unveiled in prayer. May the Holy Spirit guide you into a lifestyle of continual, face-to-face, unveiled encounters with the living God.
1. Meditate on the chasm that separated you from God as the result of sin. Reflecting on your status prior to salvation will give you a greater appreciation for what Jesus has done for you.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2
2. Now meditate on the power of Jesus’ sacrifice. With his death on the cross, Jesus carried you across the great chasm that separated you from your heavenly Father.
“He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:12
“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” Matthew 27:51
3. Worship Jesus for the newness of life available to you through him. Give him thanks and praise for his love. Allow your affections to be stirred up towards him by the truth of Scripture.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.
Hebrews 10:19-23 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
The New Testament records that when Yeshua (Jesus) died; there was a great earthquake and the veil of the Temple was torn in two. The size of this gigantic veil is not recorded in the NT…but we read from other sources that it was roughly 60 feet long and 30 feet wide with multiple woven layers the thickness of a man’s hand! It was hung on a crossbeam stone – a lintel – which was over 30 feet long and weighed more than 30 tons! It was not an easy cloth to tear…
Jerome, a fourth century Church Father, writes concerning the tearing of the veil, that not only was the veil torn, but the great earthquake had also caused the lintel of the Temple to be broken in two. In fact, it seems that the breaking of the lintel was what caused the veil to be torn in half from top to bottom, since the veil hung down from the lintel.
In the culture of the Jewish people, a father will commonly mourn the loss of his son by rending or tearing his garment…
Can we suggest that the rending of the Temple’s veil likewise, dramatically expressed our Heavenly Father’s agony over the death of Yeshua, His only begotten Son?
The way was prepared through the death of the Son of God for us to have access to the Holy of Holies, that place on earth which was prepared for the abiding Presence of God’s Spirit, and, in earlier Temple times, actually contained His Glory. In the death of the Messiah Yeshua, every barrier and obstacle, even a 30 ton stone that needed to be broken – was removed, to make a way for us to have an intimate relationship with the Father!
The sound of ripping cloth, the rending of a massive veil, echoes throughout history to this very day. The agony of that sound of mourning opened for us “a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh” [Hebrews 10:20]…so that now, at any time, we can approach our Heavenly Father with boldness and confidence in His love and acceptance. As we embrace the sacrifice of Yeshua, come with a clean heart in His righteousness, we may fully expect His constant intervention and blessing in our everyday lives— because the way has been permanently opened to us!
“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God” Mark 15:37-39, KJV.
The veil in the temple covered the holiest place where the ark of the covenant and God dwelt. The high priest once a year to offer a sacrifice for man’s sin. He had to be a holy man, living upright before the Lord. The veil was thick and dark, representing the barrier of sin that separated us from the Father. No one was able to go beyond the veil and have access the Father except him.
If you’ve received Jesus into your heart as your Savior, your great and mighty high priest who was without sin, gave his life once for all, and when he did, the veil was torn from top to bottom. There is no more barrier of sin between you and the Father. There’s no barrier between receiving His promises and an eternal inheritance. Because of what Jesus did, don’t allow what you have done to make you believe or feel anything else. Don’t make your own veil. The veil was forever torn and you are redeemed through Christ Jesus.
You are right before God, free to walk with God, reach out to God, be empowered by Him, and live for Him with no condemnation. Because of Jesus, there’s no more veil.
Prayer: Thank You Father. Thank You for giving Jesus for all my sin and the veil is torn. Help me to tear any veils in my own life from top to bottom. I am righteous and I have access to the Father because of it. It’s a Good Friday! It’s good every day because of the price Jesus paid for me that I could not. I will live free in the Lord today. Hallelujah! In Jesus’ name, Amen!