And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Matthew 27:50–51, TNIV
I didn’t fully understand the role of the curtain in the temple until I read the Old Testament and the description of the tabernacle. To separate the Most Holy place, which housed the ark of the Covenant, from the Holy place, where only the priests could enter, there was a curtain to shield the priests—or perhaps shield the presence of God. God’s holiness could not be exposed to human sinfulness.
It was hard for me to conceive of God’s holiness until I read about how priests were struck dead when they didn’t respect the holiness of the ark. God’s holiness is like a furnace, burning white-hot and pure, but incredibly deadly. We are too fragile to survive if we get too near it.
So when the curtain ripped in two at Jesus’ death, that was incredibly significant. The curtain wasn’t like a kitchen curtain or drawing-room drapes. The curtain was huge and extremely heavy and thick. The power to rip it in two was already immense, but the power that enables us to be in the presence of God’s holiness is even greater. It brings more significance to the blood that covers us and covers our sins.
FAITH STEP: Do you view Jesus as holy, or do you just view Him as a friend or a father? We cannot forget Jesus’ burning, white-hot holiness. We need to live our lives and respect that holiness, because we were bought with a price that enables us to stand in the furnace.
Contributed by Camy Tang
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