As we approach Easter weekend, I wanted to share a reflection on one of the more meaningful moments to me from the crucifixion. What happened inside the temple as Jesus breathed his last changes everything about the way most of us view church.
"It was now about noon, and darkness came over the
whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining.
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two." Luke 23:44-45 NIV
It's easy to glaze over bible verses that may not have an immediate grip on your heart, but I don't want you miss how important this is. The torn curtain is almost as disruptive in the history of our faith as the resurrection.
Until that moment, God's presence was said to have dwelt inside the temple on the other side of that curtain. This space was called the Holy of Holies. None could enter, save the High Priest. And only then once a year on the day of atonement (Yom Kippur) after a purification ritual. Entering this space without these ceremonies would result in death because God's presence is too powerful and too perfect for a human to enter with unresolved sin.
So what does it mean? The rip in the curtain signals the reconciliation of God and his people. It meant that God's people could enter his presence once again if they would receive the gift made available through the death of Jesus on the cross. Normal people, like you and I, have been given the same access to God's presence as the High Priest.
The presence of God is no longer a place; it's his people. When you confess Jesus as Lord, he takes up residence in your heart. For Christ followers, this means you don't GO to church... You ARE the church. Your consistent presence and active spiritual gifts in your local gathering so much more than you know.
After investing a lot of research in this subject, I was given the opportunity to preach on it at my church. If you'd like to dive in a little deeper, I'd love to invite you to watch it below.