Inspired by . . . the veil
The hardest part of Holy week, for me, is Friday.
I can barely get through a reading of the Gospel accounts of His betrayal, the mockery of the court, the beatings and, finally, the crucifixion of our Lord.
Can I read of Judas’ betrayal and not question my own heart?
Can I read the shouts of the crowd to, “Crucify!” and not remember that shouts of “Hosanna!” that came from those same lips just a few days before, and not be ashamed?
Can I read of Pilate’s cowardice, and not be filled with disgust?
Can I read of the mockery and the beatings, and not be filled with sorrow, horror and fear over the injustice?
If I let the words paint a picture in my mind, if I take them to heart and think upon these things, I am undone.
Yet, I force myself to read. And that is good. Because I need to feel these things. I need the hardness of my heart to be broken in grief, and in sorrow.
I need to feel His death.
Because He died for me.
But I also need to read because there are still things God wants to teach me. No matter how many times I’ve read these words, He has something new, something more to say.
Jesus again gave a loud cry and breathed His last.
Then the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth shook, the rocks split apart, the graves broke open, and many of God's people who had died were raised to life.
They left the graves, and after Jesus rose from death, they went into the Holy City,
where many people saw them.
When the army officer and the soldiers with Him who were watching Jesus saw the
earthquake and everything else that happened, they were terrified and said, "He really was the Son of God!"
I wonder if those grieving at the foot of the cross were aware of the miracles that accompanied our Savior’s death. The Roman soldiers believed. But they did not understand.
Can you imagine the chaos in the temple that day, as the Jews preparing for the Sabbath witnessed the veil tear in two? This was no small curtain. The veil was, "fine twined linen, with Cherubims of cunning work,” a substantial tapestry that could not be torn by human hands. The veil separated the Holy place from the Holy of Holies. A place where only the High Priest could enter, and even then only once a year. The High Priest entered, carrying the blood of the sacrifice, offered for his sin and the sins of the people.
The significance of this miracle is immense. Worthy of our time to study and meditate upon.
In the Pursuit of God, Tozer writes about the journey of the soul from the wilds of sin into the Presence of God and how this is beautifully illustration in the Old Testament tabernacle. Of the veil, he writes:
“this rending of the veil opened the way for every worshipper in the world to come by the new and living way straight into the divine Presence.”
Some of my favorite passages in Hebrews speak of this uncomprehendable reality.
We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure,
and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.
On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a High Priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
He opened for us a new way, a living way, through the curtain---that is, through His own body.
Direct access to God. Being in His divine Presence. The thought overwhelms me. I am so unworthy - you cannot truly stand in His presence and feel anything else.
Unlike the priest, I don’t come bearing the blood of goats or bulls. So what do I bring? What can I possibly bring?
There is nothing in my life, nothing material, or immaterial that I could offer God that would redeem the sin in my life.
This truth descends upon me like a cloak of despair.
But just as quickly, another truth, this truth . . .
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
. . . falls like a sweet summer rain.
The blood of Jesus rains down, cleansing, redeeming, restoring.
The blood of Jesus is what I bring into His Presence.
The blood of Jesus is the only thing I can bring that He will accept, the only currency that will pay my debt.
Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Victory because Friday wasn’t the end of the story.
We can endure through the dark hours of Saturday,
because Sunday dawns.
It is bright with Hope.
It is bright with Victory.
He Is Risen.
He Is Risen, indeed.
Blessings on your Easter,
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