Monday, April 2, 2012

Why was the Veil in the Temple torn in two?

Have you ever wondered why the veil of the temple was torn in two after Jesus died? Matthew 27:50-51 says, "Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yield up His Spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom."

That veil was 60 feet high and six inches thick, and it separated the room called "the Holy of Holies" (the holy place) from the rest of the temple. Only the high priest could go through the veil into the room once a year on the Day of Atonement. He sprinkled goat's blood on the mercy seat, which was the top of the ark of the covenant (the one Indiana Jones looked for).  See Lev. 16:12-14.  This atoned for the sins of Israel for one year.

The holy place was an exact copy of the temple in heaven (see Heb. 8:5, 9:23-24).  If God hadn't told them to sacrifice animals for centuries, they never would have understood why Jesus had to die for them. If God hadn't told them to build a temple and for the high priest to put blood on the mercy seat, they never would have understood what Jesus did just after He died.

When Jesus died, He committed His Spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46).  At that moment, Jesus in His Spirit (not His body), went to heaven and placed His blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly temple. Heb. 9:11-12 says, "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." The earthly high priest had to do this every year, but Jesus did this once for all time.

When He sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat in heaven (Heb. 12:24), God tore the veil from "the top to the bottom" which meant He tore it from heaven to earth.  He opened the way for everyone to come to Him. Have you come to Him?  Have you gone through the veil?