The older I get, the more I realize how much there is still to learn. May we keep on learning, growing, and serving.
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Luke 23:44-45 – NIV
Have you ever had one of those “Aha” moments? Suddenly, you recognize something you had previously missed or misunderstood. It’s a moment of clarity, of connection, of epiphany.
Some years ago, in the midst of teaching a Sunday School lesson, I had one of those “Aha” moments. Various class members were reading selections from the crucifixtion story when one of them began reading Luke 23:44-45. “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two” )NIV).
I had read that verse multiple times over the years, envisioning the sky growing dark as Jesus hung on the cross breathing His last breath. I had seen and even heard the part about the curtain, but I had repeatedly missed its significance. Sitting there in that classroom, the importance of that last part of the verse hit me full force. The light bulb came on, and I fully understood for the first time.
A curtain being torn in half doesn’t seem like a big deal until we recognize which curtain is being discussed. In those days, the temple was divided into sections with the innermost sanctuary being considered the Most Holy Place. This was the section originally built to house the Ark of the Covenant. Only the high priest could enter this portion of the temple, and even then, the priest could only do so when bringing the special offering on specific ceremonial days. The inner sanctuary was sealed off with a heavy curtain, its sacred space off limits to ordinary people. Not only did sin separate the people from God, but this physical barrier within the temple also further separated them.
But Jesus changed all that. He who was without sin took on our sins, allowing Himself to become a sacrifice on our behalf. He took the beatings. He suffered the indignities. He felt the nails pierce His flesh. He could have stopped it, but He didn’t. He chose it. For God had a plan. His plan was about the cross, and it was about the curtain.
While Jesus hung there on the cross, sky growing dark, things were getting ready across town. As Jesus breathed His final breath on that horrific hilltop, miles away, something significant happened in the sanctuary. There in the most sacred space in the Jerusalem temple, the curtain that separated the people from the Most Holy Place was torn in two. .
The curtain was torn, the barrier of sin and shame was shattered. There was nothing to separate us from God. Jesus paid the price with His life, and that miraculous rip of the curtain was the payment, the visible sign that things had changed once and for all.
From that moment, we were reconciled to God. Jesus had become our intercessor. We were free to enter a right relationship with The Lord God Almighty. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from God ever again. “By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 10:20 NLT).
Wow! ”And the curtain of the temple was tornn in two” (Luke 10:45, NIV). Ten simple words that made a monumental difference. That, my friends,is indeed an epiphany, an “Aha” moment for sure! Praise The Lord!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
Hebrews 10:19-20 – NLT
O Lord God Almighty, Thank You for Jesus! Thank You for the life giving way He established for us to find You. Because of His great sacrifice, we are restored to You. He did it through the cross, and He did it through the curtain. We are forgiven. We are free to come before You with our praise and our problems. Thank You for loving us that much, that You would send Your Son to die for us. All hail the power of Jesus’ Name!
In the Everlasting Name of Jesus, we give thanks and pray,