At the moment of Jesus’ death, the separation between God and man was obliterated.
Does that blow your mind like it does mine? That a holy God would so earnestly pursue wicked, sinful humans — by their choice His very enemies — simply so His relationship with them might be restored…
I pray I never get over the wonder of it.
I pray I never get tired of pondering it.
And I pray my attitude about His sacrifice never becomes cavalier.
“Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for Thee.”*
The removal of the barriers between God and mankind is beautifully illustrated by the rending of the veil of the temple. The veil was essentially a curtain which set apart the Holy of Holies as God’s distinct and untouchable domain.
Scripture tells us that when Jesus yielded up His spirit at Calvary, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51).
Can just say how much I love that the curtain was torn in two? It wasn’t hanging on by even a thread. I’m so thankful for our God who never does things halfway. He always sees them through to completion.
He wanted there to be no question about His status in the God-man relationship, and so the curtain torn in two pieces is no less than an engraved invitation into the presence of God. It’s a wide open door between God and any human who desires to approach Him by grace, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
He wasn’t content with a tear halfway down, enabling us to look on Him from the outside while maintaining a respectable distance. He tore that veil in two pieces because He wants us to come to Him. To enter into the place where He is. To be with Him.
Did you notice that we’re told the veil was ripped from top (where He is) to bottom (where we are)? Because our relationship with Him has always originated with Him, never with us.
He went to great lengths to re-secure the fellowship that was lost.
And even now, hearts that are in close fellowship with Him don’t arrive there without His tender drawing.
So of course the veil couldn’t be torn from bottom to top.
When I walk through the open door He provides and enter into a relationship with Him, I can commune with Him as truly as Adam and Eve did in the garden. Have you walked through the open door yet? If not, I urge you to find out more about that decision here.
As our loving God always does, He gives us an ongoing choice to be with Him. He doesn’t want to force us into a relationship with Him apart from our own willingness. Because what kind of relationship would that be?
And so I’ve been thinking about how often we mend that veil He tore. Stitch by stitch, we reinstitute the barrier between us and our loving God.
An unconfessed sin? A stitch here.
A choice to turn to others for counsel without considering His plan? A stitch there.
Drifting into bitterness toward Him over a trial He has allowed or a blessing He hasn’t? Another stitch.
Choosing to remain unforgiving toward one who has hurt us? Yet another.
Resisting that hard thing He’s asking us to do? There’s one more…
And before we know it, it’s back.
That separation that Jesus died to eradicate.
Have you been doing some mending lately?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
Hallelujah and amen.
*Quote from the hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Written by Jennifer Clarke