The Rent Veil
I was reading my way through the Bible again and was way down in Numbers and this point struck me as I passed it in my morning devotions. It is found in Numbers 4:5-6 “And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering veil, and cover the ark of testimony with it: And shall put thereon the covering of badgers’ skins, and shall spread over [it] a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.”
All very simple, move camp, pack things away, pick up the goods and in no time they are gone. But let us think about this for a moment, what covered what? The Veil/Curtain was lifted down and covered the Ark of the Covenant. Back in Genesis we find a principle here in Genesis 9:23 ”And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid [it] upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces [were] backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.”
Here a cloth was used to shield ones gaze from an object they were not allowed to look or to gaze upon. Back in Numbers we have the same principle, a cloth was used to shield and to cover an object that was never to be looked upon, well the High Priest all alone did this once a year, but that was a very complex system of steps and procedures on Yom Kippur. Of course this solves the problem of where do you store a most sacred Veil, and what do you ever put it next to.
Now the link, Mark 15:38 “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” Here we are at Calvary, exactly 3pm Friday afternoon, a cry goes up from the middle cross as death finally wins out over our Saviour, the Priest drops the knife and the “Afternoon Sacrifice” flees as type meets anti type. At that exact same instant a ripping tearing sound thunders through the mighty Temple, and the Priests in the Holy Place, for the first time ever, are now staring dumb-foundedly into the Most Holy Place. Now Jeremiah had hidden the Ark of the Covenant away in a cave before the Babylonians ever captured the city of Jerusalem and it was never found or returned. So in the re-built Temple after the captivity, there was only ever the censer kept in the Most Holy Place. Leviticus 16:2 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy [place] within the veil before the mercy seat, which [is] upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” Under normal conditions, all who look into the Most Holy Place shall immediately die, but now on this particular Passover, Death passed over them all as the Lamb of God, the real Passover Lamb had perished on Calvary; the animal sacrificial system that pointed forwards to “The Lamb of God,” was over forever. If anybody ever sacrifices an animal for sin, then they have denied that Jesus paid it all at Calvary, for whosoever will; forever.
Paul had this admonition for the Jewish listeners, and played with a concept of a veil, which was their prejudices and preconceived notions which stopped them from seeing Jesus Christ as Messiah. They all wanted “Messiah ben David,” the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords,” and had no interest whatsoever in “Messiah ben Joseph,” the humble pure, perfect servant. 2 Corinthians 3:13 “And not as Moses, [which] put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [veil] is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”
Here we find that the removal of the veil, allows for us to clearly see Jesus Christ, and the parallel to this is a veil in the Temple which stopped the priests from gazing on the Ark of the Covenant, which is of course, the throne of God, and Jesus Christ is now there on the throne with his Father. Ephesians 2:14 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];” I believe this verse will sit comfortably in this concept as well as it sits with the literal wall inside the Temple; which divided Jew and Greek, that which divides, that which comes between, that which separates, is now gone, and Hebrew Language has wonderful scope in Theme-ology to allow for careful comparison and parallels.
So to play with a “Rent Veil” theme once more; is there something in your life that needs to be rent in twain by God, something that needs to be discarded, something torn down and removed; what in your life and my life is coming between us and our God? What wall or partition is there built or being built in your life, are you clinging to or hiding behind your Parents, your Denomination, your Church, or whatever, for now we must come to Jesus Christ individually and on our own, sort of like the High Priest on Yom Kippur. There was only one person allowed in the “Most Holy Place,” so you cannot enter as a group, with a coach or with a representative, it must just be Jesus and you.
John gives us this Admonition in John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Now is the time to rent the Veil/Barrier of partition between you and your God?