With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
When my son was in elementary school, he landed the starring role as Wilbur in the chorus' annual musical, Charlotte's Web. I entered the dimly-lit auditorium, along with hundreds of other parents, relatives, friends, and siblings of the children in the play, on opening night. The heavy, midnight-blue stage curtains were tightly drawn against my eyes which were eager to see the stage sets, the lighting effects, and, most importantly, the children in their costumes. I could envisage what they looked like all I wanted but, until the curtain drew back, all was speculation and imagination. Sitting somewhat restlessly in my seats, I waited impatiently for the curtain to open and the play to begin. I even found myself resenting the sense of separation and detachment those curtains imparted, preventing me from becoming one with the happenings on the stage. What a relief overcame me when, at long last, those curtains finally rolled back and the action began; the play play immediately engaged me and welcomed everyone in the audience into a new and different world.
The curtain in the temple obscured the Holy of Holies from the eyes of all but the High Priest who entered only once a year at Yom Kippur to offer prayers to God on Israel's behalf. He alone was their mediator and advocate in the presence of the living God. With the death of Christ, everything changed dramatically, literally, and figuratively. The temple curtain is rent in two, revealing the Holy of Holies to the speechless priests who witnessed it, and access to the throne of the Most High is suddenly available to all through our unprecedented, eternal mediator and advocate, Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus, in His life, His actions, His teachings, and His sacrifice for our salvation, that we can come to know God the Father. We are no longer separated or detached from Him. The curtain to the Kingdom has opened, and we are invited to enter.
"Separated, until the veil was torn; the moment that hope was born and guilt was pardoned once and for all." ~ Mercy Me
Psalms 30, 32 or 42, 43
1 Kings 12:1-20
James 5:7-12, 19-20
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