The Veil Is Torn
The veil spoken of here reached from the ceiling to the floor, from wall to wall, and separated the Holy of Holies from the holy place in the temple. Solomon's temple was 30 cubits high (1 Ki. 6:2), but Herod increased the height to 40 cubits according to the writings of Josephus, a first century historian. Therefore, depending on what standard you use to convert cubits to feet (there is uncertainty as to exactly what a cubit equaled in our feet and inches), this veil was somewhere between 60 feet and 90 feet high.
It is significant that this veil was rent from top to bottom (Mt. 27:51; Mk. 15:38). No man could have torn the veil in this fashion. It was definitely God that rent the veil. The time when this veil was rent corresponds exactly with the moment Jesus died.
Hebrews 9:1-9 tells us that the veil separated the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt, from the rest of the temple, where men dwelt. This signified that man was separated from God by sin (Isa. 59:1-2). Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this veil, and only once each year (Ex. 30:10; Heb. 9:7). This symbolized the Christ who would enter into God's presence for us and make an atonement.
The moment that Christ died, the veil was torn in two, revealing that the sacrifice had been made and that there is no longer any separation between God and man. Jesus tore the veil, that is to say His flesh (Heb. 10:20), in two and opened up a new way unto God through Himself.
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