Scripture: “And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from the top to the bottom.” (Mk 15:38)
Observation: This is significant, because it now shows entry into the Holy of Holies isn’t reserved for a select few (the Priesthood). Through Jesus’ death, men can approach the Creator directly.
Analysis: Out of all the components of Chapter 15 (which are many), this is the one sentence that has always gotten my attention.
Can I approach God without any earthly intermediaries? As Protestant Christians the assumption is yes. As Western Christians the assumption is yes (because we are a democratic culture and basically Reformed Theology based).
Paul writes to the church at Ephesus concerning the mystery of the Gospel: “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs (with the offspring of Abraham), members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” (Eph 3:6) Continuing, “This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence though our faith in Him,” (Eph 3:11-12)
This is what the writer of Hebrews says, “Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. THEREFORE, brothers, since 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) and since we have a great priest over the house of God let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Heb 10:18-22a)
This is, in my opinion, a big deal. So many reasons why Jesus came to die and this one is quite close to the top of all the reasons. It is why we can boldly come to the Throne. It is much of the basis of God’s Love toward us. It is why we are not only subjects of the Sovereign God but also adopted children. It is why the playing field is level across all of Creation and so much more.
An old song reinforcing this (as songs and hymns are supposed to do) comes to mind:
Your Grace opens the way
That I might draw near to You
With my heart full of faith
Your Grace is all undeserved
Though there are times I fail still You are with me…
(Your Grace, Andy Park, 1998 Mercy Vineyard Publishing)
Prayer: Father, even as my day starts with struggles, I remember that I can approach You. Freely. Confident. Knowing I have an Advocate in the Son my Lord.
I don’t have to wait outside the Curtain any longer, for the Curtain has been removed.
Thank you, Merciful God. AMEN.