Mark 15:37-38, What was Behind the Temple Curtain?

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 Jerusalem, the inner Temple was divided into two parts. A thick, 60-foot-high veil separated a section called the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest was allowed … and he, only once per year, on the Day of Atonement.

In Solomon’s Temple, the Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark was the ten commandments. This partition of the Temple was considered the dwelling place of God … the place where earth met heaven. There, God hid from humankind. But Jesus came to introduce God to us, to inaugurate a new age where heaven and earth join hands. The prophets promised God would come down from heaven, like he did in the Garden of Eden, and dwell with his people. We would see his face, and know his holy name.

So when Jesus died, the veil was torn open. What do you suppose they found inside the secret compartment?

Nothing. That’s right; nothing. The Ark had been stolen or destroyed hundreds of years before.

What does this mean? On the day mankind finally meets with God face-to-face, God turns out to be an empty chamber. I personally believe there is great meaning to this story—not least of which is the discovery that God dwells not in a Temple made with hands, but within the hearts of his people. When the chamber is opened, it is not we who are granted access to a holy place, but God who is set free from his prison. That, for me, is the message of the torn veil as Jesus died.

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1 Comment

  1. shammil

    thank you,am enlightened

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