“Then Jesus shouted out again, and He released His spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart…”
Can you imagine what a sight this scene would have been. The age old temple curtain torn in two revealing the Most Holy Place. Rocks cracking. The earth shaking. Darkness descending and thunder clapping. It sounds like a scene from an ‘end of the world’ film. Well in actual fact, it was the end of the world as it was known. Jesus’ sacrifice changed the destiny of man-kind forever and the temple curtain being torn signified an important change in our relationship with God.
According to the description written in Hebrews chapter 9, the temple, where people would gather to worship God, was divided into two. The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. These two rooms were divided by a huge curtain as the Most Holy Place was were the tangible presence of God was. Only the High Priest could enter this room once he had cleansed himself of his own sins and only once a year to offer a sacrifice for the people’s sins.
“But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his owns sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.”
The imagery described here in Hebrews would have been a very normal picture for the Jewish people of Jesus’ time. They knew the temple rules. The knew the role of the High Priest. And they knew that once a year he would make an offering for their sins.
Yet when the temple curtain was torn into two, it symbolised something greater than what they would have understood. It showed that by Jesus’ own sacrifice, He made a way that we no longer have to speak to God through a High Priest or have our sins forgiven by the sacrifice of the blood of a lamb. We now have a Perfect High Priest, Jesus Christ, who ever lives to make an intercession for us by His own blood. He became the sacrifice, He became our High Priest and He became our sin offering. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can freely enter into the Most Holy Place (God’s presence), and freely have a relationship with God without religious restrictions. Hallelujah!
Jesus flipped the script when the veil was ripped!