On Mark 15:38

Mark 15:37-38: 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

The curtain/veil torn in this verse was the separation prescribed by God in Exodus 26, which separated the Holy of Holies from what surrounded it in the temple. This was the dwelling place of God’s holiness, and the curtain protected priests from His holiness. So at Jesus’ death, when the curtain was torn, it meant an end to the sacrificial system of atonement. Jesus satisfied the demands of the law, meaning a person did not need to be protected from God, but was now able to enter into God’s presence.

John Calvin puts it well in his Commentary on the Harmony of the Gospels, p. 323. It says, “Christ, the true and everlasting priest, having abolished the figures of the law, opened up for us by His blood the way to the heavenly sanctuary, that we may no longer stand at a distance within the porch, but may freely advance into the presence of God… Thus the rending of the veil was not only an abrogation (abolition) of the ceremonies, which existed under the law, but was, in some respects, an opening of heaven, that God may now invite the members of His son to approach Him with familiarity.” “With familiarity” is a profound statement. The death and sacrifice Jesus was God initiated, so we may be in genuine, authentic relationship with God himself, the creator of everything.

So what now? Hebrews 9:1-3/10:19-25 bring it home for us. It says, “1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place… [Chapter 10] 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

So what now? Since the curtain of separation was torn let us: 1) draw near to God with familiarity, 2) hold onto hope, 3) encourage each other in acts of love, and 4) keep gathering with hope centered folks so we will be reminded of God’s love and how we shall love others in His name. Be blessed as you walk this week with familiarity with God and love for others.

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