Read: Exodus 26
Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finally twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Exodus 26:31, 33b
Woven throughout the pages of the Old Testament, over and over, is foreshadowing of what is to come in the New Testament. We see numerous examples in this chapter. And one in particular that could be easy to miss…
In the midst of detailed instructions about how to build the tabernacle, including how to weave a lot of really big curtains, God tells the people to make a curtain, and then calls it the curtain. This detail is significant. See, there was one curtain that was different. Even the Hebrew word used here is different. The first group of curtains is defined as simply curtains that hang. However this one (also translated “veil”) is defined as something that shuts off or separates. The entire purpose of this particular curtain was to separate the presence of God from the presence of man.
This curtain of separation remained for thousands of years from tabernacle (portable church) to temple (stationary church). Only the High Priest, once a year, would go beyond the curtain and into the Holy of Holies, and by a blood sacrifice, seek forgiveness of sin for God’s people. This curtain was the barrier between the holy and the unholy. The perfect and the imperfect. But God’s desire for there to be no separation was so great, that He chose to do whatever it would take to remove the curtain.
Mark 15:37-38 says, “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed His last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
Before Jesus, to go beyond this curtain was a death sentence. But then, Jesus’ death sentence became the way to life. He offered Himself. Acting as the final High Priest, He made the once and for all perfect blood sacrifice, and now stands in the place of the curtain. Hebrews 10:19-20 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body…” (Read Hebrews 7:23-28 and 9:11-14).
We’re invited to be seen by God through the “veil” of Jesus. To be in God’s presence. To become His temple and have him dwell in us. (Read 1 Corinthians 3:16).
God allowed people to use their hands and participate in crafting the curtain that would be their protection from certain death. Then many, many years later, with His own hands, God tore open the curtain, removing the barrier… offering personal relationship and everlasting life with God!
Father, God, thank You for removing the barrier that separated me from You. Thank You for choosing to allow me to be Your temple and for seeing me through the lens of Your Son, Jesus. Please help me to carry Your presence so others can see You.