Torn in Two
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. - Matthew 27:51
No small miracle was performed in the tearing of so strong and thick a curtain; but it was not intended merely as a display of power--many lessons were contained in it.
The old law of ordinances was put away and, like a worn-out garment, torn and set aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because they were fulfilled in Him; and therefore the place of sacrifice, the temple, was marked with a clear sign of this change.
With the curtain torn, all the hidden things of the old dispensation became apparent: The mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleaming above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for He was "not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face."1 Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world are displayed in Him.
The annual ceremony of atonement was also abolished. The atoning blood that once every year was sprinkled inside the curtain was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was finished. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered inside the curtain with his own blood.
Therefore access to God is now permitted and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. It is not just a small opening through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the tear reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of heavenly grace.
Is it wrong to suggest that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvelous manner by our Lord's expiring cry was signifying the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord has the key of heaven; He opens and no man shuts; let us enter in with Him to the heavenly places and sit with Him there until our common enemies shall be made His footstool.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Leviticus 23
verse 2 Psalms 30
As we become serious followers of Christ, our desire is to live loving, joyful, anxiety-free lives. Yet, loving our enemies most always seems impossible. Even being patient with family members can be a challenge. So, how do we put on the gentle garments of grace when we’re so busy battling our old behavior patterns?
The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges explores the nine aspects of the “fruit of the spirit” described by the Apostle Paul in the book of Galatians (5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Bridges explains how to practice the fruit in real life as we look to the Holy Spirit to mark our character by devotion to God-centeredness and God-likeness.
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.