Get out from behind the curtain
When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom. The Message translation puts it so well: 19-21So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.
Just think how amazed the churchgoers must’ve been when they saw what goes on behind the curtain for the first time. They probably couldn’t believe their eyes. They must’ve stepped carefully over the heap of material to enter the space that the high priest could only enter once a year. And now they could do it too. Now they could also meet God. The tearing of the curtains opened up a whole new way for them!
It’s difficult for us today to imagine what they must’ve thought about all of this. But this event was like a blind person seeing and a deaf person suddenly hearing. For the first time that distant God was close by. The church’s foundation was rocked once and for all. It would never be the same again.
From that day onwards people walked a new road. The road opened up by Jesus’ death. Just as His body was torn and broken, the curtain that hid people was torn from God.
People never again had to sacrifice animals for their sin. Never again the head of the church had to go behind the curtain to talk to God. Ordinary people like you and I could talk to God themselves.
All of this was made possible by Jesus’ death on the cross.
But the question is whether my life is taking this new road opened up by Jesus’ death? Am I living a life behind the curtain that I’m actually hiding from people, or am I living a life free of the burden of sin, where I’m not afraid to show my true colours to the world out there?
Lea tells how her boss broke through the curtain:
After two years I started praying for him, because I was too afraid even to give him his messages. It took a while, but eventually he changed. From a ranting loudmouth who cursed and found fault with everybody all the time, he started changing and talking to me about the deeper things in life. And he permitted me to point out where he was acting badly. The past four years he even started going to church …
When you meet Jesus, you step out from behind the curtain. Then you live differently. Then others notice that you are different.
And you? Are you living differently because you’ve stepped out behind the curtain?
Where are you living?
Are you standing in front of or behind the curtain?
How can Jesus’ tearing down the curtain make you go in a new direction?
Jesus, thank you for tearing the curtain so that we can go directly to God. Thank you that I no longer need to stand behind the curtain. Please help me go in a new direction so that I can live Your Name wherever I go. Amen.