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Entering His Presence

Friday, May 28, 2010

by Dr. Paul Chappell

“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

Luke 23:44–46

Many pre-Calvary believers died without ever meeting with God, yet often we take for granted our access to His throne.

The sky was dark. The mood was somber. Not even the sun could show its face as the Son of God hung upon the Cross. The sin of the world was weighing on Him as He endured the pain, shame, humiliation, and betrayal of His death. His sacrifice was necessary for the provision of salvation, but it was also painful.

As the Lord hung dying on the Cross, an event occurred a number of miles away. Luke notes that as the Son of God was crucified, the temple veil was rent in two, from top to bottom. In our modern culture, the significance of this event is sometimes lost. Look at three facts about the veil in the temple.

The veil separated God from men. The inner most room of the temple was known as the Holy of Holies. This room housed the Ark of the Covenant, and was the sacred place of residence for the Lord.

The veil separated God from common men. Only allowed in the Holy of Holies was the High Priest of the temple. No ordinary person could approach God nor could they freely meet with Him. Anyone but the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies would experience immediate death.

The veil separated God from sinful men. Even though the High Priests were allowed to access the Holy of Holies, they were only allowed to do so if they were fully confessed of all sin and spotless of any transgressions. If the priest were hiding any sin or harboring any unforgiven act, they too would be struck dead. The Holy of Holies was a very sanctified place untouched by sin.

Knowing the limitations of the early Jewish temple worship paints a picture of a God so holy and righteous that common, sinful man had no hope of ever approaching Him. Yet as Christ died and became the payment for sin, satisfying the just nature of God, God rent the temple veil in two, allowing free access to Him anytime.

Think about what an amazing event the veil-tearing was. No longer was God a distant idea, an enclosed Being, or a restricted place. God was available to anyone who sought Him. This new access to God is seen immediately as the criminal on the Cross cried out to Him, the centurion watching sought repentance, and women followed Him to the tomb.

The veil-tearing shows us today that any and all persons who desire to know God can. No veil separates God from man now. We are all free to accept His gift of salvation and to enter His presence.

Oh how the Jewish people longed to enter God’s presence before Christ’s death. Many faithful believers died without ever meeting with God, yet how often do we take for granted our free access to His throne? How often do we brush off entering the presence of God Almighty as a trifling matter?

You have direct access to God anytime you desire. The veil of separation between you and the Creator of the world has been torn. Thank God for the ability to approach His throne! Don’t take for granted the privilege you have been given. Humbly enter God’s presence each day and thank Him for the work He did on Calvary to tear the veil in two.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
2 Chronicles 4–6 | John 10:24–42