Behold the temple veil was torn in two…
For thousands of years this veil was fixed in its place, separating sinful men from the presence of absolute holiness. Once a year the High Priest would venture in to this place of great mystery and make atonement for the sins of said men…a daunting and terrifying task indeed.
I wonder what those on the outside must have been thinking; surely there curiosity ran wild as they wondered at the idea of standing in the midst of a Holy God. Surely they envied the man that was tasked to enter in and hear that voice that thundered the worlds and all that we know into its existence. What must it have been like to have experienced God on that level? How reassuring, how comforting and yet how terrifying it all must have been.
What separated the rest of humanity from the blinding Glory of God? A veil, that’s right, the thing that was to separate a Holy God from sinful men was nothing more than a veil. Yes, we know that when Christ wore that cross upon his back, commending his spirit to God and breathing his last, that the veil was torn asunder. This however has caused me to consider and wonder at God for a time.
I have never considered the veil as an object of mercy, but always as an obstacle for Gods people. I have thought and considered the jealousy that must have been felt by others as they stood and watched the High Priest enter into Gods presence. How many stood and envisioned a day when they too might be able to do the same; to just stand in his presence and Basque in the glory of an almighty God…even if only for a moment.
Yet had it not been for that veil, the Glory of God might have consumed them all. This veil was itself a demonstration of Gods mercy and grace. God hath said in days gone by that no man can see God and live. We are told too that God is a consuming fire. We also know that fellowship with God is now only possible through his Son…Jesus Christ. But what about the men who stood outside that temple and waited for the high priest to come forth from the inner chambers that lay hidden behind the veil. Christ had not yet visited himself amongst men and the work of the cross had yet to be completed. What shielded them from this Glory?
The answer lies in the veil. God was not using the veil as a means to obstruct men from coming into his presence; rather he was using the veil as a means to protect them from his own Glory…
“who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen”.
The day has dawned and the Son shines as bright as he ever has, making clear the path before us and giving sight to the past. Christ hath become the veil that we should abide in him…
1 john 2:28 “And now, dear children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
I imagine what it must have been like for Peter, James and John…as they stood tall upon that mount, side by side with their master, having been chosen from among the rest to enter into this most holiest of hours. Christ was finally to reveal the Glory that lay hidden within his flesh for 33 years, and they would be his witnesses. Christ would shed (if only for a moment) the veil of flesh that he wore and give freedom to the light that he bore. This was the great revealing of God, and in this monumental moment we hear the father say “this is my beloved son, listen to him.” Ohhhh, but still we see the mercies of God upon these fallible men, as God would cause that great cloud to envelope them one and all, thereby protecting them from the Glory that was to be revealed in Christ.
God is truly remarkable…and in every way wonder full.