"The Rent Veil"
Last week I observed a little boy temporarily lost in a crowded shopping mall.
For a moment he was all alone, lost, and a sense of desperation was on his face. As the crowd, surging along, towered over him, the little boy looked here and there ...but no sign of daddy and mommy.
Panic seemed to take over ...then ...finally, a glimpse of their familiar faces; and with tears streaming down his cheeks, the little boy ran, straight on, as fast as he could go to the open arms of his Father.
Nothing could have kept that boy back. There was no hesitation, no doubting, no wondering, no second thoughts, no reluctance - he literally just ran flat out to his father. In complete dependence, trust, and total abandonment of self and all of his surroundings - the boy literally threw himself into the waiting, outstretched arms of his father.
I thought to myself ...the problem with America today is that we have not been running to God. We are lost but we keep looking here, looking there; trying to figure this and that out. Some seem to know the way - but we take a cautious step in His direction. Is it safe to go further? What about my past? Will God really receive me? Maybe I should try this approach or that method. Maybe I need more preparation. Well, if I coast along and wait on God surely He will lead me.
Brethren, where is our hunger and thirst for God? Where is the fire and gumption in our souls to get to God? It is time! It is time! It is time to run to God!
In Africa many of the people think that God lives up on Mt. Kenya or Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now, if you tell them how they can get to God without having to climb that tall mountain, it is the best news that they have ever heard. And, boy, are they ready to receive the good news!
Lets be truthful, I mean, let's get down to where it is really at - what could be more important in life than knowing we can get to God and having the assurance that He receives us in total acceptance just as we are. I mean to be related to, be partners with, to be in a loving relationship with the Creator of the Universe ...To live in "a new and living way", walking daily with God and constantly embraced by his loving kindness and tender mercies and comforted by His outstretched arms.
Jesus came down from heaven to give us all this. He came to start a new race of people on earth - people who could be in intimate communion with their Creator.
But, we really don"t believe it is possible!
We have all but lost our innocency and child like dependence upon a loving, caring heavenly Father. It's almost like this relationship is impossible - absolutely too good to be true. Or maybe we just don't care any more ...
America's hearts have been hardened by materialism, and broken by distrust and even despair. Our goals have shifted to the "toys" of life-shallowness of the glitter and trendy outward fashions with no regard for purpose in life.
Jesus looked over Jerusalem and He wept.
It is time! It is time for America to turn and run to God!
Why? Because it's not too late! And, I am here today to say that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would not have come to be a leader of a defeated people. He came to bring humanity back from darkness, despair, defeat and even death ..."For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
And this was accomplished at the Cross! Jesus destroyed the power of the enemy at the Cross and now it is only for us to be worked out in our own lives.
And, it is not impossible. In fact it is a certainty that we are going to win because we who are Christians live "in a new and Living way" (Hebrews 10:20). Jesus went to the Cross believing in you and me - trusting that we might truly realize that we are the reason that God gave up his Son to die - for us.
Now - how do we enter into the new and Living way? How is it accomplished - made real and practical in our own lives? How do we really and truly enter into this "Oneness" with God?
All we have to do is realize, know" and lay hold of the fact that a very supernatural event of deep spiritual significance took place when Jesus died on the Cross.
In the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple there was a most special and significant place called the Holy of Holies. It was a place of awe - the secret place of the most High God. He dwelt there between the cherubim and seraphim. It was where the Ark of the Covenant was - the original resting place of the Ten Commandments.
The Holy of Holies was hidden from men by a great heavy veil. Only on one day of the year, on the Day of Atonement, could the High Priest enter this Place and only with fear and trembling ... such was the greatness and power and glory of God in that Place. It is even said that his helpers tied a rope around his ankle to pull him out if he was struck down under the holiness and "terribleness" of God in that Place. And it is significant that the High Priest scattered blood about the room for protection as a substitute for his own sin nature as he entered in to be with God.
It was the veil that separated this sacred Place from the rest of the Temple. And, at the precise moment of Jesus' death, this veil was torn from top to bottom. The veil of separation was rent asunder. In Mark 15:37-38 we find - "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." In Matthew 27:50 we read "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent."
"Behold" means to "turn aside and see this great sight and be astonished at it."
So, let us turn aside and look a moment at the veil:
A. Its purpose and Meaning:
1. It literally means - "what shuts off".
2. It represented the unapproachableness of the Holy of Holies (God).
3. It was for concealment as was the veil on the face of Moses.
4. It represented a veiled mystery inside.
5. It kept common people from drawing near to God and beholding the Shekinah Glory, the light of God's divine presence.
B. The significance of the rent veil:
1. It was in correspondence with the temple of Christ's body. Hebrews 10:19-20 says - "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." As Jesus' body was torn (crucified) on the Cross, so was the veil rent at the exact moment.
2. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, we now have free access to our God - there is nothing standing in our way.
3. Jesus has prepared and secured the way for us to God by shedding his blood which ushers us right into His presence. Jesus knew what He had done when He said, "It is finished". The Covenant that God had made with his people when He said "I am your God and you are my people" is now sealed forever by the blood of Jesus which gives us access for ever to the very throne of grace.
4. Nothing now can obstruct us from God. In Romans 8 the Apostle Paul stands before men and all the angels in heaven and declares before the enemies of God and even renders a challenge to God himself by crying out:
vs 33 - "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth."
vs 34 - "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again" ...
vs 35- " Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" ...
vs 37 - "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
vs 38 - "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
vs 39 - "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Out of Paul's confidence in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the resulting rent veil, he dares to challenge earth, heaven and hell.
He knows that there is nothing now that separates him from his God and because of this, nothing can stop him because Jesus has opened the Kingdom of Heaven to him.
5. Because of the one-time shedding of blood by Jesus, the Lamb of God, Christians now can enjoy continuous fellowship with God - their sins have been once and for all removed. In the Greek Hebrews 10:20 really means "it is a way, newly made and living." An aorist tense of the verb signifies an act done once and for all.
The middle wall of partition has been broken down and removed between Jew and Gentile and between God and man.
6. In the rent veil we see the clear substitution of Jesus for our sins and taking our sins upon himself, nailing them to the Cross. He died that we might live unto God in full assurance that Almighty God has forgiven us and now receives us with no reservations.
Romans 5:1 says - "Therefore being justified by faith (full assurance) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
C. The personal meaning and significance of the rent veil for each believer:
1. The supernatural event of the rent veil takes away any sense of guilt and shame in our hearts. God has opened the way unto himself - because of what Christ Jesus has done!
Romans 8:1 - "There is therefore no condemnation now to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
2. What room then can there be in our minds for anything but faith. The obstruction, the veil, the separation, the restriction is all gone. And, so we have a confidence, an assurance, an unshakeable faith that draws us near to God, with the surety that there is no longer anything between Him and us.
3. Each believer, therefore, has direct access to God - no intermediaries are necessary but Jesus himself. The ever living Christ, himself, is the way to God. Jesus said in John 10:30 - "I and my Father are one." Therefore, when we give our hearts to Christ we enter directly into that positional authority which Jesus has with the Father - Oneness.
4. There no longer should be a veil of doubt covering over the hearts of men and women. All is open to God and He no longer stands in condemnation or judgment over us. And since the veil was removed to God's presence we then must remove the veil of unbelief, caution, hesitation, and indecision from our own inner being. Let's get right with God and remove the barriers! In Hebrews 9:7-14 we can read how each one of us has a direct and unimpeded access to God in heaven because the blood of Jesus Christ gives access to the heavenly sanctuary.
5. By the rent veil an absolutely new way for man to come to God has come into being. We, therefore, as Christians live in a whole new paradigm of life awareness as a whole new race of people on earth. We are Sons of God, walking in the effulgence of God's light and love, filled to overflowing with resurrection life, and abounding in the unsearchable riches of glory and power that comes out of the Holy of Holies.
6. No longer are we veiled, muted, shut out, sealed off from, restricted, limited and put out and put off. The devil would have us under foot, cast down, rejected, and felt to be unworthy; but our glorious Jesus lifts us up, ushers us in, imparts unto us the mighty Holy Spirit, plants our feet on higher ground, and says I Love You and you are worthy to go unto my Father.
Brethren, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty! And we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are "changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:17:18).
7. Our soul and spirit have been set free and we as Christians become the very Temple of God with no veil of separation within. This is a whole section of truth which I will deal with in another ministry letter.
But right now ... I know one thing. It is time! It is time! It is time for America to run to God!
Brethren, Jesus went to his death trusting that we might come to comprehend and truly believe what He has done for us.
"While we were yet sinners (veiled in darkness, deception, and death) Jesus died for us" - Romans 5:8.
Lord, I run to the foot of the Cross and see thee crucified for me. I look up into your face Lord Jesus as you died for me, and my heart is filled with love - it is softened and melted again as it was when I first saw thee.
I love you, Lord.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Stanton R. Herpick
1. The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew Vol. 15, Pg. 612.
2. Expositions of Holy Scriptures - A. MacLaren, St. Matthew, Vol. 3, Pg. 341ff.
3. A Dictionary of the Bible - J. Hastings, Vol. 4, Pg. 847ff.
4. A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels - J. Hastings, Vol. 2, Pg. 790.
5. Calvin's Commentaries - Harmony of the Evangelists - Vol. 3, Pgs. 323-4.
6. The New International Commentary on the New Testament - Hebrews, - E. F. Bruce, Pgs. 248-252.
7. International Critical Commentary - Hebrews - Pg. 144.