The Jewish Temple was designed, like most sacred places, to move the worshipper to focus on the most holy place, and also create barriers to keep the unclean from getting too close to the most holy. The Holy of Holies housed the sacred Ark with the Ten Commandments in the chest, and the cherubim statues stretching their wings guarded this earthly representation of the Heavenly Throne. But when Jesus died, Luke describes that the place that only the Jewish high priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement was declared by God to be open for all who would trust the sacrifice of His Son. The veil that cordoned off this most Holy Place tore in two when Jesus died.
“Now it was already 12:00 PM and darkness fell on all the land until 3:00 PM because the sun was darkened. And the veil of the Temple was torn down the middle and with a loud voice Jesus said, ‘Father, into Your hands I place my spirit.’ After saying this, He breathed out His life.
When the centurion experienced all this, he gave praise to God saying, ‘Certainly, this man was righteous.’ And the entire crowd who had gathered for the spectacle, on seeing what happened, left beating their breasts.
Now all the women, those who knew Him from the beginning in Galilee, stood some distance away, observing.”
Priests, rabbis, monks, pastors, and other religious professionals continue to build sacred places and they still exclude the unworthy from getting too close. Before we allow anyone to erect walls that keep us away from closeness with the true God, we need to meditate carefully on the door into God’s presence that Calvary threw open for us.
LORD, with the Centurion, I praise You today for having Your Son take my punishment and guilt, so that I can enter Your presence as one of Your sons. Thank you that the women weeping at Jesus’ death would soon leap for joy when they saw Him alive and well.
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