Monday, April 18, 2011
Yesterday I gave a talk at the public library in Columbus, Wis., near Madison. All went well until I started home. I encountered numerous snow showers that slowed my progress—at times to a halt. With winds at 30 mph or more and gusts to 50 mph, the snow bursts became virtual whiteouts. It’s eerie when a whiteout suddenly obscures your vision like a thick, white curtain. If I hadn’t written today’s devotional earlier, I surely would have been inspired from yesterday’s drive home. It’s about another curtain, the veil in the temple. May God bless you this week with joy and peace as you celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, which allows us total access to God. Hallelujah, He has removed the veil!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The Open Curtain
When the curtain goes up, it means the play is about to begin. We will now be able to see the much-anticipated actors and action. Hopefully, the closed curtain will rise and we will get our money’s worth—a good performance.
In the days of Moses, the Israelites dealt with a closed curtain. God instructed them to construct a curtain, or veil, for their portable tabernacle. The curtain in God’s dwelling place, in the Holy of Holies room, separated Him from the people. Once they settled in Jerusalem, they built a temple, complete with a new curtain made for God’s new dwelling.
Their perpetually-closed curtain was meant to keep the sight of God separated from the people because they could not look upon His awesome glory and holiness and yet live. It also obstructed sinful man’s approach to a perfect God Who would not tolerate sin. There was no direct entry to God in the Holy of Holies behind the veil except by the high priest who, once a year, was allowed to enter the sacred room. And even he could not enter without presenting a blood sacrifice and a cleansing of his body.
It is said that everything in the Old Testament conceals what the New Testament reveals. When Jesus died on the cross—by virtue of His own blood shed for our sins—it brought a glorious end to the need for any separation between God and man. The curtain’s purpose ended on a sudden, dramatically-supernatural note when God’s mighty hand tore it from top to bottom at the very instant that Jesus said, “It is finished.”
No longer would sinful man have to stand afar off from God. Jesus forever removed the obstacle to fellowship with God for anyone who would approach Him through faith and in spiritual worship.
The writer of Hebrews 10:19-22 clearly explains this wonderful truth. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Lord, we thank You for removing the veil so we can approach You through faith. Thank You for giving us victory over sin and death through Your Son, Jesus, who is our Overcomer. Amen.