As a child, I was always fascinated by veils…with exotic places, covering faces, and then there was the Veil of the Temple. In my mind, a veil is a flimsy, diaphanous piece of elegant cloth that floats in the wind, conforming itself to whatever it is near.
When Jesus died, the Veil was torn from top to bottom. This veil was nothing like I imagined. It was a piece of densely woven carpet that was at least 4 inches thick and 45 feet tall . It was ripped starting at the top. The top. No ladder.
Today, I’d like to focus intently on the word “tear”, or “torn”, as in:
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split…” Matthew 27:51 NKJV
Another translation says, “At that moment…” Can you imagine? This happened in an instant!
Today I was struck by the power, determination and immediacy of this word. This is an act of sheer strength and can be even seen as violent. Some synonyms include, “mangle, destroy, rend, flay, peel”. Pretty graphic. This was no neat and simple slicing of a piece of gauze with a pair of sharp scissors. This was the Mighty Hand of God changing the structure of His Covenant.
Growing up, it was taught that this showed people could now enter the Presence of God. Yes, that’s true – through Jesus.
However, based on the enormity and strength of purpose of this, it seems it also paves the way for the Spirit of God to pour into the hearts and souls of His children. No longer would God be shoved in a cloistered room. The River of Living Waters began to flow…pouring out.
Now, as Christians, we stand by the river’s edge. The Water has reached our shores. I am feeling like we should do what Stephen Curtis Chapman sings about. Come on – let’s Dive!