What does it mean that the veil was torn?
What is the veil and what was its purpose?
Access. The reason the veil was torn is so that we could have access. The veil was a large curtain in the temple that kept us from being able to enter into the presence of God. Sin had separated us, and only a blood sacrifice by the right person could fix it. Until Jesus, the priest would enter through the veil to submit the sacrifice to God for the sin of the nation. Jesus eliminated the need for the curtain because we can all now enter into the presence of God through Him, Jesus.
Where no man can go
There are lots of examples over history, and in our stories of places that people can’t go, and end up creating a breakthrough so that they can get there.
Éowyn killed the Nazgûl king, even though it was said that no man could…because she was a woman she was able to.
Rudy played two plays as a Fighting Irish football player after everyone told him he would never make it.
Thomas Edison failed over 9000 different times before he successfully created the light bulb…We can now enter the Holy of Holies because Jesus made a way where there was none.
Mark 15:38 – The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. (niv)
In the temple, there was a veil. You can read about it in Exodus 26.
Many scholars believe that the curtain was 60 feet long, 30 feet wide and the depth of a man’s hand (roughly 4 inches), and that it took 300 priests to move it, wash it and hang it.
That’s a lot…and it was torn.
But it wasn’t just torn.
It was torn from top to bottom…the hardest way possible.
The veil speaks of the body of Jesus Christ as testified in the writings of the New Testament which says that we can enter by the blood of Christ “through the veil, that is, His flesh,” right into the holy of holies.
Jesus suffered to the point of death so that we might have access.
His disregard for Shame
Hebrews 12:2 – Because of the Joy awaiting him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
So much of the story of Easter and the cross is about Jesus redeeming things that had been wrong. The whole story is a fulfillment of prophecy, and each of the details makes something right that was wrong.
Shame is when you are afraid of someone else’s opinion about you, or something that you did. The shame of the cross was absolute. But Christ disregarded it. What would life look like for you if you could disregard the shame that holds you captive.
The purpose of the veil being torn is so that we can enter into His presence without shame and then return leaving it at the foot of the cross. Not carrying it with us.
Now We can Enter Boldly
The veil being torn in two speaks of the body of Jesus Christ being broken on our behalf to make access to Him possible. It literally means that the barrier between us and him has been removed, and actually made ineffective as a barrier. The veil wasn’t just taken down, it was torn in two so that it couldn’t be used again.
Heb 10:19-22 – Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Matt 27:51 – Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.
The veil was made from 4 different colours. White, red, blue and scarlet. Each colour was made from a different process and meant a different thing.
For example, white was typically a symbol of purity.
Purple was for royalty, a mixing of heavenly God and earthly man. In making purple we mix two primary colours, blue and red. Purple is the colour choice of kings because it was more expensive to make purple than other colours. Often kings called themselves god because the nature of kings is the nature of a god.
Blue representing heaven and red representing blood indicates the nature of the priesthood being chosen by God to represent himself here in the earth.
Red was derived from an Eastern insect (worm) that infests certain trees. It was gathered, crushed, dried, and ground to a powder that produced a brilliant crimson hue.
Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Christ in His sufferings. The crucifixion Psalm 22 quotes Jesus as saying – “I am a worm”. God somehow took upon Himself a body of flesh and blood and then died, giving His life as a ransom for us all.
Why? And Also
The most interesting part of this story is the reason why. The picture on this post is from one of my favourite places on the planet Cabo Mexico. There is a pool there that children are not allowed and I wanted to show it because it represents the veil. There are so many places that we can’t go. The most important place we can go…is right to Jesus…and the Father.
The primary reason the veil was torn was to send a message throughout history that Jesus had removed the barrier between Himself and His people.
The other cool thing is that the power for the miracle came during the sacrifice…when Jesus made the sacrifice…the power was released, and the veil was torn. The Veil was torn on the cross, not three days later when He rose from the dead. The implementation of what it all meant would take thousands of years, even to today.
Three days later Jesus rose from the dead…but the power of Grace had already been released.