Published on March 9, 2014
The death of Jesus is to be understood & embraced. “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt 26:28). Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Is 53:4-5).
A New Era of Approaching God v 51
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” The high priest tore his garments when he thought Jesus spoke blasphemy (Matt 26:64-66). The veil was torn from top to bottom. The veil separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. “You shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy” (Ex 26:33). Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies--and he only once a year.
What’s the significance of the veil’s being torn?
No more will the high priest enter the Holy of Holies to offer atonement for sin. Lev 16:11-17. Yet, Jesus’ death made atonement for people’s sins. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom 5:9). “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb 9:14).
The veil’s tearing could also symbolize God’s departure from the Temple. God dwelt in the Temple in a special way (1 Ki 8:11). No more does God dwell in temples made with men’s hands. “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24).
The veil’s tearing could also mean that we can approach God for ourselves. Only the priest could enter God’s presence (and only once a year!). Through Christ, we are able to approach God. “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16).
A New Era of Life vv 52-53
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” (Dan 12:2). These folks were raised when Jesus died. Sins had not been fully forgiven until Jesus died. After Jesus had been raised, these people went into Jerusalem and appeared to many. We will be raised when Jesus comes again! 1 Cor 15:51-57. 1 Thess 4:16-17.
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