Q. What is the significance of the “torn veil” in the temple at the death of Christ on the Cross?
50* And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.
Try to get this picture in your mind. Jesus is on the cross “yielding up His Spirit” and not far away in the temple the Jewish priests were busy with the evening sacrifice, getting the temple ready by lighting lamps, preparing the insence, a very large number of priests would be present present.
According to Exodus 26:31 the veil of the temple was made of “fine twisted linen.” It was very thick, and it was over than 40 cubits in length. When it suddenly ripped from bottom to top, what do you see the priests doing?
This was a remarkable miracle. This may explain why , a few days later, the book of Acts records that a large number of priests were being converted to Christ (Acts 6:7).
What is the meaing of the veil and its rending?
First of all the veil was composed of three colors, blue, purple, and scarlet (Ex. 26:31) which may symbolixe the nature of Christ, blue standing for his heavenly nature, scarlet for his earthly nature, and purple standing for his priestly nature.
Secondly the High Priest as a representative of the people went through the veil to the Holy of Holies into the very presence of God, today all Christians have access through Christ to stand with confidence in God’s presence (Heb. 10:19).
Thirdly as the veil was rent Christ’s body was rent for the sins of the whole world.
Fourthly the rending also means the removal of obstructions between the worshiper and his God. No longer must man appeal to a priest to access God. No longer is there a veil. Christ’s followers have boldness, freedom, and “access” to God.
(Eph. 2:18; 3:12).
Fiftly the rent veil means that the Old Testament can now be understood in the light of the New Testament. Without Christ the Old Testament is mystery, only in Him is it gloriously understood
(2 Cor. 3:14-16).
Sixtly the rending meant that Christ has conquered death. Man no longer has to fear death. Christ passed through death unharmed and will one day completly destroy death for his Children (1 Cor. 15)
Seventh The rent veil abolished the office of the earthly high priest. All functions held by the earthly priest have now been taken over by the true high priest, Christ Jesus:
Heb. 9:11 – 12
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
Christ became the mediator:
1 Tim. 2:5-6
5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
Today ALL CHRISTIANS are “priests” :
1 Pet. 2:9 – 10
9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.
10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”