Rainy Easter Sunday. Bumped into A, my Oxford connect group leader by chance at the entrance to Hillsong London. Pleasant surprise!
Followed by a shock – the queue to get into the 11am service was snaking around the block. Cue mad dash to the end of the queue, meeting J and going into a packeddddddd service where we thought we might not get seats.
(obviously that was not the focal point of this post.)
(but omgosh so many exciting things happening at home in Singapore)
A single thought kept ringing through my head and I had to physically restraint myself from diving down to take my notebook out and start scribbling while Ps Gary C was speaking.
Basically it was the imagery of the curtain/veil in the temple being torn at the instant when Jesus gave up His spirit and died.
Hahaha check out my non-existent sketching skills.
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (Matthew 27:50-53)
37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37-38)
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)
From being a Presence in the Most High Place in the temple that only the Levitical high priest could enter into and that being once a year to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, that if we entered we would die because of our sin and shame…
3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,
7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. (Hebrews 9:3, 7)
In an instant, He tore the veil and made a way.
From laws & restrictions, from not being good enough…
He bridged the gap, the chasm.
That we may step into forgiveness and freedom because of His blood that covers all.
We can now approach the throne with confidence. Directly without a go-between.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Because in Jesus, we have our High Priest. Who entered the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies by giving His blood.
Truly, Calvary covers it all.
17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7:17:26)
There are no words.