In Exodus 26, God gives specific (very specific) instructions to Moses for the tabernacle tent, one of which is the veil that separates the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place where only the priest can go, and only one day a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. (Ex. 26:31-35). This was no shower curtain, it was a massive, heavy, thick, embroidered thing.
Fast forward — when Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn in 2 from top to bottom. (Matt 27:51). This signified a few things – it was torn starting at the top so that it was obvious that no man could do it…besides the fact that no man could do it anyway as massive as it was. I found a picture that gives some perspective of how huge it was.
Even more huge than the size of it, was the significance of it. The Old Testament laws, sacrifices, priests, etc were all copies of heavenly things that are fulfilled in Jesus, who is our high priest who enters the Most Holy Place on our behalf before God the Father and makes atonement for our sins. But, he only had to do it once, because he was perfect and divine – priests in OT days did it year after year. Look at Hebrews 9:11-12 –
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
Christ entered once and secured for our eternal redemption! The separation between us and God is removed, Jesus removed it and he is now our intercessor to God. We secure this redemption by faith in Jesus and then live it out by his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus put away our sin once and for all. We don’t have to jump thru religious hoops. We then are clean, pure, holy before our Father as we stand in Jesus. Is this to say that we still don’t struggle with sin? Heck no. But sin no longer has mastery over us (or it shouldn’t if you truly are a believer – Rom 6:14), and our identity is no longer “sinner” but “saint” – an adopted son or daughter of the Creator God of the universe! When we do fall into, we should immediately run TO Jesus (not away from him) and remember that our sins are on the cross, agree with God that sin is no longer characterizing us, turn (repent) and go in the opposite direction of our sin.
Hillsong’s “At the Cross” speaks of this…the lyrics are on the YouTube page…let them soak in and rejoice that Jesus has truly won this for us.