Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Curtain

   If you have ever studied the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, or the Temple that replaced the Tabernacle, you would be familiar with some of the features of the structure. There were different items that were part of the Tabernacle and related to worshiping God. One of the jobs of the priests was to offer sacrifices to God, on behalf of our sins. Many different animals were sacrificed for various reasons, and all were symbolic of what God was going to do to take care of our sin problem. Our sin is deadly serious before God. God can never have sin in His presence and one day He will destroy all sin with an eternal punishment in hell, forever. He has no choice in this matter. If He just ignores our sin, He would no longer be God. God can never change who He is. But He did do something about our sin. And as we look at the parts of the Tabernacle or Temple, it will help us understand it better.
   There was a special room inside the Tabernacle called the 'Holy of Holies'. It was definitely the most holy place on earth. Only a priest could go inside of this room once a year to bring in the sacrifice. If a priest went in without first dealing with his own sin, he would die when he entered into the Holy of Holies. There was a thick curtain that surrounded this special, inside room. People could go into the courts of the Temple, after the Temple was finished, but they could not go into the Holy of Holies. It was forbidden.
   There was a special item inside of the Holy of Holies, inside the Tabernacle, called, the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark of the Covenant was the 10 Commandments that Moses received from God. One time, really long ago, the Ark of the Covenant got away from the Israelites, and when they recovered it and were trying to bring it back into their country, it started to fall over when the oxen that were carrying it stumbled. A man put out his hand to keep it from falling and the man died because he touched something so holy, and his hands weren't clean (he had sin that was not dealt with). So this holy item, the Ark of the Covenant, was in the Holy of Holies.
   The Holy of Holies shows us how holy God is, and how unholy we are. We could never go into God's presence that way we are. But, remember the curtain that was around this room? It was a thick, heavy curtain, not like the ones we have on our windows today.
  Something very interesting happened to this curtain though. Around 2,000 years ago, God sent His Son Jesus to live on earth. He lived a perfect life and never sinned. He is the only Person who could have gone into the Holy of Holies and not die. But here is what happened;
  Bad men took God's Son and tortured Him, then punished Him by putting Him on a wooden cross. This was one of the cruelest forms of punishment history has ever known. Jesus could have gotten out of being punished because He didn't do anything wrong. But the Bible says He didn't say anything when being accused that would have made Him go free. When He was dying, God put all of our sins upon Him, and He bore our sins and took our punishment for them. But then the most amazing thing happened. This thick curtain actually split apart and now people were able to have access to God. People are able to access God now because of the death of His Son. That's why Jesus told us that 'He is the way, the truth, and the life; No one comes to the Father but by me.'
   I'm sure many people didn't understand the significance of the tearing of this curtain. Many people were probably horrified when they saw the Holy of Holies open now. Many people missed the meaning of why Jesus died. They don't see themselves as sinners who need to be saved from their sins. They see themselves as good people who will go to heaven when they die because they didn't kill anyone. But God sees it differently. He sees all our sins, every one of them, and we will give an account to Him one day. Either we will die in our sins, or we will die cleansed from our sins. If we are cleansed from our sins, God looks at us as if we never sinned. He can do that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. But if we don't repent of our sins, and don't turn to God, trusting in His atonement for us, we will die in our sins and they will always be before us in hell.
   Yes, the curtain is torn and we can have access to God now because of the death of Jesus, His Son. Will you turn to Him and trust Him now, or will you choose to stay in your sins and die in an unforgiven state? The choice is yours. For more help please write in the comment box or send an email to;

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