And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. -Matthew 27:50-51
The tearing of the veil was the first thing that Jesus Christ did after His death. There is no question to its importance, but the million dollar question here is, why did The Christ have to do this? Well, for us to answer this, we will need to answer a more basic question: what was the veil for?
The History of The Veil
The veil actually goes way back to ancient history into the books of Moses and the Exodus. It was a time when God dwelled with man in the ark of the covenant. During these times of the law (The Old Covenant), God had to impose a lot of covering to ‘protect’ man from God’s Holiness. For God is so Holy and Perfect that His very presence WILL destroy man because of his sins. With this, God has to have His presence in the ark of the covenant covered by incorruptible wood and gold. This ark of the covenant is so holy that it also cannot be touched or handled by ordinary human hands. They can only be touched by the priests who were assigned to carry the ark. When the ark is resting in the camp of the Israelites, it should be stored in a room called the Holy of Holies which should be veiled from the eyes of the people. This veiled room then becomes the holiest place in the planet where only the high priest can enter once a year.
Every since the law was given through Moses, God has to keep distancing Himself from us. When God resided at Mount Sinai, a command was given that not even an animal can come near the mountain (or else it should be killed). When Moses was to speak to God, Moses himself wasn’t allowed to see God but only God’s back. Again, when The LORD is with the camp of Israel, He dwelled in the ark of the covenant which was well sealed and veiled from the eyes of the people. We have to keep in mind that The LORD then was distancing Himself from man and even from Moses out of mercy. The sins of the people make them excellent candidates for the punishment of death and God (out of love and mercy) doesn’t want the punishment of death to be enforced. But God wants to be with His creation, so at best He can dwell with the sinful people of The Old Covenant through veils.
The veil is a symbol of God’s longing for man and man’s sinful nature that disqualifies him from being with God. At first, it may seem like a good thing, the veil keeps us from being burned from our sins at His presence. But after a while, having a relationship with someone whose face is always covered becomes really frustrating. We want the real relationship with God and God wants a real relationship with us. Something has to be done to solve this sin problem.
Come Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ came down to earth to solve this very problem. He came down to cleanse us from our sins through His shed blood so we can finally be with God. This is exactly what He did through His life and death as a man here on earth. Jesus Christ lived a perfect sinless life, making Him to be the only one worthy of tearing this veil that separates man from God.
Since the veil represents God’s separation to man, tearing of the veil, in turn, shows that man is now welcomed in God’s presence. By tearing the veil, Jesus Christ reconciled God and man.
Tearing of the veil reveals to us how great the person Jesus Christ is. No one but God Himself can forgive man and reconcile man with God. This shows that upon His death, the shed blood of Jesus Christ was able to pay for all the sins of man. Another instance that shows Jesus’ greatness is that after his death, all of the saints were raised to life (Matthew 27:52). A clear indication that all our sins have been paid for and no one ever has to pay with their life again.
By dying on the cross, Jesus Christ made us all to be the children of God. By tearing of the veil, The Lord Jesus gave us a direct connection to God. When we fail today, even when we sin, don’t run away!! We can still run to God and He will forever be welcoming us. These are all guarantees that rests on the life, the death, and the resurrection of The Lord Jesus Christ!
The veil separating man and God is no more. All glory to The Lord Jesus Christ!!
* Image taken from Google Images