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The Rending of the Veil

Thanks to Christ's death, we can have a hope-filled relationship with God.


"Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost, and the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."

It had been hanging there for years. It looked as if it might hang there forever. Gorgeously embroidered in blue and purple and scarlet, the massive curtain was hanging in front of the mercy seat. And for years it had guarded its secret well.

It was there to fulfill a double function. On the one hand, it was there to keep men out—a warning to sinful humanity, that where the last mysteries of religion are concerned, they must keep a respectful distance. On the other hand, it was there to shut God in—for behind that hanging veil there was silence deep as death and darkness black as night, even when the Syrian sunshine was blazing down outside.

It had been hanging there for years. It looked as if it might hang there forever. And then suddenly, say the evangelists, it was cut from top to bottom, as by a pair of unseen, giant hands, and a formidable frustration was finished.

They said in the oral tradition that when men compared notes afterwards, they were startled to discover that the rending of the veil before the inmost shrine had happened in the precise moment when Jesus had breathed his last on the hill of Calvary and gone home to God. Immediately, they connected the two events. They said it was no mere coincidence. The death of Christ outside the city wall and the rending of the veil before the shrine, they said, had somehow been related.

They went further, saying they had been directly related as cause and effect. It was the death of Jesus that had torn the veil. So they dared to believe, and today the verdict of Christendom is that, in the deepest sense, they were ...

©James S. Stewart Preaching Today Tape #57 A resource of Christianity Today International

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I. The rent veil reveals the inmost heart of God

II. The rent veil opens up a highway to God

III. The rent veil confirms hope in the face of death