“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”
I absolutely love the power of this statement. From the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, His final declaration that “It is finished”—our debt fully paid and the wrath of God toward sin fully satisfied—God tore the temple curtain in two. He decisively, immediately tore down the barrier that prevented us from entering into the Most Holy Place where He dwells. Because a way had been made for us. A way that not only provides forgiveness of sins, but one that wholly cleanses us from sin and purifies us to our very core.
Our sin-filled soul, our prideful and rebellious heart, could not be reconciled to the Holy God who reigns in righteousness and justice. Yet through the power of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, and the indwelling of the Spirit of God which makes us alive in Him and renews us each day to be more like Christ—holy, as He is holy—we are reconciled to God the Father.
This was the point. A brilliant display of the almighty power of our God to break down every barrier, and of the glory of His amazing grace to come down and make a covenant of faithfulness and steadfast love with sinners.
The tearing of the curtain symbolizes the act of God in our hearts as He saves us and frees us from our captivity to sin and darkness. “Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High…Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart…For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron” (Psalm 107:10-16).
Today, I pray that this will give you hope and encouragement, however close to or far away from God you feel. He is mighty to save and no chains can stand in His way. Seek Him; believe Him; choose to follow and to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and He will enlighten your heart to know “the hope to which he has called you…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).
“The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
‘O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!’
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
our God is merciful…
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling”
Psalm 116:3-5, 8