The Rent Veil

The Rent Veil
Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:50-51
50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (KJV)
What does rent in twain mean?

The NIV reads:

Matthew 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

Rent in twain in modern English simply means torn in two. It is important that you make a mental note of that. Rent in twain, torn in two. Rent in twain, torn in two. Rent in twain----- you know.

Why is the tearing of the veil important? Maybe an even better question to ask would be; is the tearing of the veil important? From what we just read we know that Matthew wrote: 50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; But Mark also wrote: 37And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And moreover Luke wrote: 45And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

God inspired three of the four gospel writers to record the fact that at the moment of Jesus’ death the veil of the temple was physically torn into two pieces. This tells us two things. First; the tearing of the veil actually happened! As Christians we believe the miracles described in scripture to be true and this certainly is one of those miracles. Second; Due to the three times it is mentioned God clearly wanted us to take note of it. It is important!

The tearing of the veil is important, why is it important. The veil was just a curtain, and a torn veil is just a torn curtain. This curtain, this veil, was not some ordinary curtain. The veil of the temple was the one thing that separated the most holy place, from the rest of the temple. The most holy place was and is the place where God’s glory resides, and where man can find mercy and forgiveness. The ritual of the temple as God had commanded to Moses was basically as follows: Once a year the high priest would enter into the most holy place with the blood of a perfect lamb without blemish, he would offer it to God as a sacrifice for all the sin of Israel. This entering could only happen once a year, and only the high priest could enter the most holy place. Nobody else would dare enter into that room for fear of death, and the high priest himself would never dare enter that room without the blood of a perfect spotless lamb for fear of their life. There also was a series of rituals the high priest must perform before considering entering the most holy place. These rituals were essential for the priest to enter the most holy place.

But now – Behold the veil was rent in twain from top to bottom! What can this mean? This is the gospel climax! Behold the veil no longer separates you from that most holy place! You no longer need to wait for a priest once a year to make an offering for your sins so that you may be forgiven. No more secrecy, no more questions about that holy place, the veil is rent in twain and access therein is freely granted to all.

As the veil was rent, so too was the priesthood itself rent, destroyed and made obsolete. No longer does anyone have to have a human mediate for them. Nobody must burn incense for you, and there is no human priest by which you must confess sin. The veil is torn in two confess to God himself!! The veil is rent, He is now in the open and willing to offer forgiveness and mercy. No longer must you stand up, sit down, kneel, and recite readings to be forgiven. There are no hand motions or rituals required. Ritualism along with the veil were torn. Now that the veil is torn all that is required is for you to walk through it and enter this most holy place.

You must walk through the veil to enter the holy place. Where is the veil, or what is the veil, how do I find it to walk through it. Hebrews 10:19-20 reads: “19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” Christ is the veil Rent on the cross the cross that through him we might enter into the most holy place and commune with God the father himself. I beg you now, if you have not yet walked through that veil, and by Christ entered into that most holy place please listen ever so closely to the rest of this message.

Christ is the rent veil. If you want to see that most holy place, if you truly want to see God’s glory you must peer through the rent veil. You must view God through the veil, Christ our Lord rent on the cross, if you ever plan on seeing God’s glory. It is only through Him, that we truly see the God of forgiveness, the God who is love, the merciful and true God. If you want to see God the only way is Christ! True, you may see a fragment of God’s glory in creation, or in the eyes of a child, but if you want to see God’s true glory and beauty the only place you will ever find it is through Christ who is the veil rent by God the father himself that you might see God. Praise God through Christ that we now have access to His throne.
Behold… Look… Witness the veil is torn in two. This is, it must be, the greatest news this earth has known. Jesus said He is the way, he said he is the door, and the word says that he is the rent veil. This is no doubt great news for those who walk through that veil, those who have accepted Christ as their Lord. On a more solemn note though, the rent veil leaves no one with excuse. There are far too many people, I am sure even some who are in our midst this evening who have refused to walk through the veil. Ah, they peak inside, and they marvel at the veil and Christ crucified, but they refuse to enter into that most holy place. To drop all and trust Him.

I am sure everyone remembers hearing about when Moses stuck his rod in the sand and God parted the Red Sea. The entire sea was rent in twain with walls of water on both sides. Israel fled through that Red Sea to safety and eventually to God’s promised land. Pharaoh’s army was hot in pursuit ready to slaughter God’s people. What if they had refused to flee through the torn Red Sea? Surely they would have been slaughtered. Do you also remember when God parted the Jordan? The Jordan also was rent in twain and had Israel not passed through the torn Jordan they never would have entered the land God had promised them.

We must then recognize that God was truly gracious to his people by providing them with a way to escape wrath, and a way to enter his promised land. Israel had no other way to freedom but by the Red Sea, and the river Jordan. Just as Pharaoh’s army chased Israel, so does Satan chase men and women seeking to slaughter them. Just as the sea was rent, so is the veil rent, that is Christ crucified, that we may receive safe passage. It is a frightful thought of what would have transpired had Israel not passed through the Red Sea, so also is it a frightful thought of what happens to men and women who do not accept God’s offer of salvation through Christ our Lord, the veil rent on the cross for our sake. I know it is not popular to say that he is the only way, but His word makes this perfectly clear. Oh, how I wish all would have their eyes opened and accept Christ and pass through the veil into the most holy place. The gift of salvation is free. It is not as if Christians are so bigoted to hoard this gift to themselves, this is not the case. God does not say that Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus are not allowed into the most holy place. No! He invites them to come in as well through the rent veil, Christ. By accepting Christ any man woman or child may enter into eternal fellowship with God. Unfortunately many will die never walking through that rent veil, never accepting Christ. Just as the Red Sea crashed in after Israel had passed through, so to does that veil close after people take their last breath. Believers wake up! Do you assume that all who posses some sort of spirituality will enter that most holy place. Will you not point everyone you can in the direction of the cross, and Christ the only entrance into that most holy place. Or will you sit back a pretend that there are other points of entry to the most holy place. If that is what you say, if you say there are many ways to God’s prescence, then friends what you are saying is that the veil was rent in not in twain, but in vain. Christ did not need to die if there is another way! If you believe that there are other ways then you are denying the magnitude of the most precious gift ever given, and blaspheming the very work of Christ on Calvary’s cross. Friend I urge you point all to Christ, assume nobody is saved until you have fellowshipped with them in that most holy place.
I apologize that this comes off as fire and brimstone, but it is the simple truth of the scriptures. Open them for yourselves and you will find the same thing. The good news is that through Christ God saves people… saves them from what??? Pain, suffering, and trauma, no scripture promises that.

Don’t open your bible and subject it to your feelings and intellect and twist its words until you are comfortable with them. Instead of changing the bible, open your heart, your feelings and your intellect and subject them to the bible, and let God change you. Christ is the rent veil, and it is essential according to His word that all pass through Him. Is it too much tonight, or on a Sunday morning to ask the person sitting next to you if they are saved, or if they trust in Jesus? Anyone who believes would love to have that question asked them because they can answer with a resounding “Yes!” Then he or she and the questioner can enjoy fellowship together in Christ. It is always a wonderful event when two previously unacquainted Christians meet for the first time. Many who have not accepted Christ are simply waiting to be asked, and in that case you may be God’s vessel of salvation to that person, and what an amazing experience that is. Then there is the person who refuses all together to believe and tells you “No and I desire not to believe” even that person will go home feeling different because the question was posed directly to him, and surely your words will ring in his ears until at some point he comes to grips with Christ the rent veil.

So here we are today June 8, 2005. We are here to worship God, to express our love for Him, and our devotion to Him. It is a beautiful thing when God’s People come into this place to worship Him. We must realize that true worship from the heart can only happen within that most holy place. In the most holy place, inside the veil, we cannot fathom words to express our worship. We sing “Amazing grace how sweet the sound…” but somehow we feel those words to be inadequate to express our joy. We sing “Shout to the Lord all the earth let us sing, power and majesty praise to the King,” but our mouth cannot form words to express what our heart desires to speak. Some of us will clap our hands together simply to attempt to put into physical motion the praise that exists in our hearts. Still even this gesture we find inadequate to express our praise. Oh if we could just praise and glorify God as our heart desires. This is true worship, when we grasp at any song or any word or any motion that would bring Him glory. It is worship when we hear His word and we accept the force of His truth, oh and our hearts rejoice in Christ the veil rent for our forgiveness. Oh the true heart worship hears what the world would consider an awful church solo as a beautiful display of a believer attempting with all their heart to praise God.

There is another type of worship that goes on, if I dare call it worship at all. I hope and pray that you are not someone who worships in this way. As a young child and all the way through the end of my high school years this is the way I worshipped. Too many people in too many churches and I am afraid even here at Maumee United Methodist worship from outside the veil. They may peer inside the veil and see what those in the most holy place are doing and duplicate it. They hear the worship music and it is pleasing to their ear so they sing along. They show up to worship so that they may be lifted up to face their week. Worship to these people is not at all about Christ and Him crucified it is about entertainment, singing songs, and being merry. They may sing “Rock of ages, Jesus is the Rock” and it feels good to sing, but they have no intention of building their lives on that rock. How many people arrive weekly at church and sing, and give, and recite prayer and tie knots in quilts, yet never give real thought to Christ the veil rent on the cross for the forgiveness of their sins. When I was in high school I came here on Thursday night services and I sang along and it felt good to sing along. It was the same feeling as when you are at a concert and your favorite band is playing your favorite song. Later I found that I could duplicate that feeling by singing along to the vile songs of secular radio. Worship from outside the veil loves the song, worship from inside the veil loves the Lord. Please do not misunderstand me I do cherish certain songs, like Amazing Grace, Great is thy Faithfulness, and many of the songs Fountain of Truth plays, but that is because they provide a means of attempting to glorify God. Why did you come here tonight? Was it to be picked up? Or because the second Wednesday of every month is another opportunity for you to lift Him up?

This brings us to our last point before we conclude. The veil was torn in two from the top to the bottom. This is not a partially torn veil, it is torn in two with a great opening for all to walk through. If it had only partially torn the new may only have been able to peak in. We would merely dabble in Christianity but never be expected to give our entire life to God. This is not the case though. The veil is rent in twain, torn in two from top to bottom. Nothing my friends absolutely nothing can keep you from walking through that veil. The only thing that can make you refuse to give your life to Him is you own self. No sin of yours is too great, no earthly attachment is too strong, no! There is nothing that can keep you out of that most holy place. You say but, but, but… you do not know what I have done. Oh but you must think of what He has done for you. Christ the veil was torn on the cross for all sin, surely no matter what you have done it is not beyond what the Son of God has done to atone for it. You can accept Christ as your entry into that most holy place and I pray that you will. Please do this.

This message is not just for those outside the veil, Christian this message has something for you too. We talked about worshipping in the most holy place, and you may have sat in your pew and thought he is speaking about a form of worship from the heart that I am not experiencing. Brother, sister, I know that you trust Jesus but what is holding you back from that deep heart worship. Friend look to the rent veil. Think of Christ crucified on your behalf, think of the father that raised him from the dead. Behold the veil is rent and you may enter the most holy place. Have these thoughts on your mind and your heart will be free to worship from the very depths of your being. I know there are times when we all fail to worship Christ as we should, but focus on what he has done, and soon you will not be able to do anything but worship from the depths of your being.
I know there are other Christians here who are backslidden. Believers whose lives are falling away from Christ. Backslidden brothers and sisters behold Christ torn on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins. He has done the work accept His forgiveness for your backsliding and waste no time by beating yourself up. The veil is rent that you may have fellowship with God, not that you may bear the guilt of all your sin.

I also know that there are Christians who entered this place tonight who are currently living in that divine uninterrupted fellowship with our Lord. Praise God for that. That is place we all desire to be and be thankful that you are there right now. Praise God that you have been drawn through that rent veil into fellowship with God the father.

Finally for those outside the veil, Pharaoh and his army are hot in pursuit, and the red sea stands rent before you, will you flee the coming wrath? The veil is torn, and by confessing with your mouth to someone that Jesus is your Lord, and believing in your heart that God the father raised Him from the dead you will be saved. God awaits do not be too proud or too ashamed, just accept Christ as Lord. Christ Said he is the way, go that way, he said he is the door, run through that door. If you have been touched by the Lord this evening please seek someone out after this service to talk to about it. I will be here and so will others as God’s servants to you. Make this decision and experience worship from inside the veil.

50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (KJV)

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