And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed His last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Mark 15:37-38)
Read Luke 23:44-46
Imagine what it would feel like to be a priest going about your duties in the temple that Friday, getting ready for the Sabbath. You would be doing it nervously, in near-darkness -- the sun's light had failed at noon. Nobody around you would know why.
A few hours pass. Then an earthquake strikes. A ripping sound -- what could that be? You turn around, and there, to your shock and fear, you see the temple curtain, torn in two from top to bottom! God's Most Holy Place, the temple room which you have never seen, is now open to your eyes.
The priests must have been terrified. Everybody knew the curtain existed to protect them from God's holy presence. No sinful human being could stand in God's presence and live. But now the curtain -- the huge, thick, heavily embroidered curtain, as hard to rip as a carpet -- was torn in two. God's presence was open to all mankind.
The writer of Hebrews explains why God did this. It was an acted-out parable of what Jesus was even then doing, opening the way to God through His own body, through His own death. Hebrews 10:19b-20 says, "We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh."
No longer do we need to be afraid of God. Jesus Himself has opened the way to us. Now, through Jesus, we can come to God the Father, not as terrified sinners, but as His own dear children. "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to come to You boldly, trusting in Your forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have you ever been in an earthquake? What was that experience like?
What "holy places" make you a little nervous to go there, if any?
How is the opened curtain at Christ's death good news for you and me?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"