Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Opened Way

At the very moment the Savior gave up His life on the cross “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Mark 15:38). This tiny piece of information inserted in an account of so many other amazing things going on often gets overlooked. But it is so amazing.

The veil that ripped is the veil that covered the entrance into the Holy of Holies or the place the ancient Israelites considered to be the Throne of God where God dwelt. The Holy of Holies symbolically represented the celestial kingdom and the only person permitted in the Holy of Holies was the High Priest (the symbol of Jesus Christ) who could only enter one day a year to make an atonement for the sins of the people.

Ancient historians tell us that the veil that rent, the veil in Herod’s temple, was an elaborate piece of work. It measured 60 feet by 30 feet. Woven of 72 twisted plaits, each plait consisting of 24 threads, the veil was a hand breadth thick or about 4 inches! It may be an exaggeration, but the historians claim that it took 300 priests to lift the veil into place.

The symbolism of this veil ripping is so beautiful. The veil is a symbol of Jesus Christ for it is through Him that all of us gain entrance into the presence of God. The ripping of the veil signified that the way back into the presence of God was now open because of the wounding of Jesus Christ. Now not just the high priest, but every person who wanted to enter could. Nothing more stood in the way.

But there is also meaning in the fact that such a substantial barrier had miraculously been destroyed. This reminds us that any barrier we can conceive of that might keep us from returning to our Father in Heaven, no matter how big or extensive it may seem, can be overcome because of Jesus Christ. Nothing except our own decision not to go there can keep us out. Christ opened the way. Christ overcame all barriers. We only have to follow Him in.

“ Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:14-16).


Cathy said...

This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing and explaining in a way that brings out so much meaning and always causes me to ponder on the deeper meaning.

Wendi said...

This was a really informative and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of this symbolism. :)

Becky Rose said...

Thank you for these great posts.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cathy, The symbolism in so many things adds so much to the meaning.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, It does make it more interesting,doesn't it!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Becky, Thank you. I hope you are feeling better!