“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 (ESV)
The Tearing of the Veil
Matthew 27:45-54 (ESV) 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.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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