27 July 2022 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
50 ¶Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
The seemingly random references of Scripture to things that may not seem related usually are most related. This passage of the Rent Temple Veil is no exception. It is the exclamation point for the conclusion of our Lord’s work of redemption on the cross at Mount Calvary. The Rent Temple Veil coincided with the powerful last words of our Savior at the last moment of ministry: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished:” and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30 So how were these two events related?
In fact, they were the one and the same event. The Temple Veil separated the Holy Place in the Temple from the Most Holy (ore Holiest of Holies) that contained the Ark of the Covenant in which was the Rod of Moses, the Ten Commandments, and the Manna. There is a depth of mystery and truth contained in these events that may escape the notice of the casual Bible scholar.
THE OCCASION: It was the exact tome of the Passover Sacrifice in the Temple at which the High Priest only had access to the Holy of Holies. He stood, at that very moment, before the Veil to offer the yearly sacrifice. Once per year was the only time any man could have access to the Holy of Holies, and that man was the High Priest of Israel. The Veil separated the people of God from the Holy of Holies. An intermediary in the form of the High Priest offered up the sacrifices of the people at each Passover observance. The Passover was the early type and shadow of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God upon the same Mount Moriah on which the Temple stood, and where Abraham was tested in sacrificing his only son. Isaac. (see Exodus 26:31-37 & Hebrews 9:7-24)
THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE: The Temple Veil was torn from top to bottom at the instant of our Lord’s giving up the Spirit. The Temple Veil, in reality, represented the body of Christ torn at the Cross for us. It was Christ who became our eternal intercessor in His appointed Office of High Priest when He was sacrificed as that perfect Lamb of God foreshadowed by the Passover Lamb in the Land Goshen in Egypt. No longer would an earthly High Priest be necessary as our intercessor between the sinner and God for Christ became our High Priest and Intercessor at His death on the cross. Christ alone, not Mary or any saint, is our High Priest and Intercessor.
Behind the Veil was considered to be the place of God. The Ark containing the Law stood just behind the Veil, and above the Ark was the Mercy Seat of Christ. It was by His merciful redemption from our sins for which this seat stood. Mercy tops Law just as the Mercy Seat topped the Ark containing the Law. Not that the Law had been disannulled, but that Christ would pay the penalty for our disobedience thereunder. The Law of God is still binding, and became even more so, but now no longer written on Tables of Stone, but upon the soft sinews of the heart with the ink of LOVE.
The Veil was rent right in the face of the High Priest. No human hand touched it just as salvation cannot be produced by any good work of human hands. It was torn completely in two equal portions representing the new status of the Law tempered with the Mercy of Christ. It was torn from top to bottom because salvation begins with God and is passed down to the believer by the once-made sacrifice of our Lord.
THE EFFECTS THE RENT VEIL SHOULD HAVE ON US: If that man made Temple Veil was considered with such reverence in its holiness, how much more should the elect of God reverence the ultimate and Divine Presence of Christ that the Veil represented? No longer are we separated by the Veil from the Presence of god, but have gained access to God and the Mercy Seat through the works of our Lord Jesus Christ – not on our own merits, but by His righteousness and substitutionary death in our stead. The torn Veil denoted the removal of any distinction between the Jew and Gentile in the sinner’s approach to God, and the removal – not of the Law of God – but of the ordinances that had been added by the Jewish rulers from Moses to the present.
Should we not be glad and filled with divine joy that the Temple Veil was Rent at our Passover that Christ was?