We had certain rules. I don’t remember too many, but we had them. Never play with play-doh at home, it got messy. When father whistled, we came running. No food on the new vehicle. And when I was growing up, my mother would keep us out of the living room. This was especially true when we lived in Derita. We had a white carpet in there and we were to stay out.
But you know kids, rules were for other people. The living room was cool … forbidden, had saloon swinging doors, and my bros wouldn’t follow me when I ran in there. And then it happened, I spilled red koolaid … my life was over. That event left a mark. It was traumatic and horrifying and humbling and … hey, I was in middle school and I doubted I’d make high school.
2000 years ago, there were some people hanging out at the Temple. Priests, scribes, others. They had rules. Lots of ’em. One biggie was you didn’t go behind that sacred curtain.
Then something happened. It was during the time of a big feast/festival. Huge. Hundreds of thousands came to town and many came to the Temple. But this day would be different. The afternoon had turned dark, I mean the sky was black. The town had taken a scary, somber mood. And about 3p – an earthquake, the ground shook … and … and … the veil was torn. And it was torn from top to bottom. This thick piece of sacred material, ripped like a thin piece of paper.
The room that was God’s dwelling place had been exposed. The Holy of Holies, so sacred, so protected, so off limits, was now accessible. Would the eyewitnesses live? Could it be repaired? The priests screamed and wailed. The Temple had been shaken, the veil torn, and life would never be the same.
Looking back, we see the splendor in the scary.
- The act is sacred – ripped from heaven, from top to bottom.
- The act is symbolic – we all now have access to the presence of God without fear – all because of what Jesus did in the cross. His substitutionary sacrifice allows His followers to come boldly before the throne of God, the throne of grace (Hebrews 4.10 & 10.19-20). This act is inviting to all.
- The act is a statement – there is only one way to the throne, into the presence of God … it is only through Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I don’t doubt that the event of seeing that veil ripped left a mark on the Temple people. It impacts me 2 millennia later. And when I grasp the sacred in the scary, I too am left changed forever.
I am not good enough to enter the presence of God. I’ve blown it way too much, too messed up, too rebellious, too screwed up … but He provides a way, for me … for you.
If you don’t know the impact of what Easter is really all about, don’t let this weekend go by without exploring the truth that God loves you. Go to worship somewhere … and see what it’s all about … it’ll leave a mark.
Note: my mother didn’t kill me. She loves me too much. But I don’t remember going back into that room – ever.