Friday, April 15, 2022

The Torn Curtain: A Good Friday Devotion


BySarah Geringer 

"At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."

Matthew 27:51 NIV

As a writer and artist, I'm always working with metaphors and symbols, and this one is the most beautiful one I've ever known. I'll break it down for you.

Back in the Old Testament, when the Ark of the Covenant was built (see Exodus 25), it was placed in the Holy of Holies. This was a small room surrounded by a thick curtain. Only the high priest was allowed to enter once per year to make a special sacrifice on behalf of all God's people, to seek forgiveness for their sins.

The priest entered backwards out of deep reverence (and fear of death, since he was literally stepping into the presence of God). He solemnly dipped hyssop branches in animal blood and sprinkled the blood over the top of the ark. God would look down over the ark, which held items that indicated the stubbornness of the people. A jar of manna, since the people had grumbled. Aaron's staff that budded, since the people rebelled. The two stone tablets, which held God's commands.

When God looked down and saw the blood sprinkled over the atonement cover (the lid for the ark), He was satisfied, and the people's sins were forgiven. The items that represented their sin were covered in the blood of sacrifice, which allowed God to forgive them.

Back to Jesus' time. The temple in Jerusalem had a Holy of Holies too. It had a thick curtain that separated God's presence from the people. At the moment Jesus gave up His spirit, the curtain was torn from top to bottom.

Think about a thick, woven blanket or afghan. Sheer force probably couldn't tear it, even if a strong man tried. You would need to cut it with something very sharp. But God could tear it with ease.

The curtain tore from top to bottom. That fact is important, because it means God the Father was saying, "Now that my Son has died for you, you can have full access to Me."

The torn curtain was a beautiful invitation. It was a symbol of the new covenant. No animal sacrifices necessary. Only a willingness to enter into fellowship with the one true God.

This story awes me. The God of the Universe wants fellowship with me! I have direct access to the throne, thanks to Jesus. I want to bow to him in reverent praise.

How does this scripture stir you on this Good Friday? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Have a blessed weekend!

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  1. I love this truth, too--that Jesus' death for us made it possible to come to God.

  2. I'm so thankful for this truth, "God the Father was saying, "Now that my Son has died for you, you can have full access to Me."

  3. ���� This just makes me want to worship.

    Thank God for the Cross.

  4. Sarah, so beautiful. I am in awe too that our Heavenly Father loves us so much. Blessings to you and yours this Holy day.


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