Read: Matthew 27:32-61
- Reflect on the first part of the passage (32-44). What do you think was going through Jesus’s mind? Why would it been a bad thing for him to save himself off the cross?
- What is significant about the veil being torn?(v. 51) Do you think this is what Jesus meant about destroying the temple? (John 2:18-19)
What I want to focus on today is the veil being torn after Jesus gave up his spirit. If you remember from the Old Testament, the veil is too keep the spirit of God separate from the people of God’s eyes so they will not perish in all His glory. Also, it meant that only a priest of the temple could go in and pray on behalf of the people. The veil being torn is of huge significance to us. Because of the veil being torn we are able to commune with God without a third party present. Because the veil was torn down we, as Gentiles, were able to be brought into the family of God.
Now there is a moment in John where Jesus was asked for a sign that he is the son of God and his response was:
Now, technically Jesus never said HE was going to destroy the temple so in our passage today the false witnesses were only telling part of the truth. But what if the people of God took it too literally and really he meant it as something else? Jesus is the son of God, right? The temple was built so God’s spirit could be among his people. Hm. Who else was sent to be among the people? Jesus. Does that not make him a vessel of the living God? So could it be the temple Jesus knew that they would destroy was himself?
The veil is significant because it is a visual representation of what they did to Jesus–they destroyed the temple. God needed the priests to see this and whether they did or not, we do not know. What is great also about this is Jesus did what he said–he raised it again in three days. Jesus battled for us for three days and then rose again.
Yes, today is a dark day in our Christian History, but it really is just the beginning of something new and amazing! Because of the cross, we can pray and commune with God anytime we want. Because of the cross, we are free from the chains of sin. Because of the cross, we can live eternally with the Father and the Son. So REJOICE! Jesus has won the victory!