temple priests said Jesus’s friends stole his body from the tomb.
Wonder how they explained the huge tear in the temple curtain which
inexplicably occurred when Jesus died on the cross?
temple, in addition to being a place of gathering and a place of
sacrifice, was the residence of the presence of God on earth. The
outer courts were open to just about everyone. Then the courts
within became increasingly exclusive as one moved toward the middle.
Finally, there was the place where God’s presence dwelt called the
“Holy of Holies.” It was separated from all other areas by a massive
Holy of Holies” was accessible only to the high priest, and only
once in each year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. On that day
the high priest would go behind the curtain and enter that holy
place, the residence of God on earth. There he would offer God a
sacrifice seeking forgiveness for the entire nation.
must have been a scary experience, for God had actually allowed
people to die in the awe of coming into His holy presence. The Jews
had a custom of tying a rope around the ankle of the high priest
because of the concern that he might have a heart attack and die. No
other priest would go in and risk his life to bring the body of the
high priest out. So the rope was intended to pull the deceased from
under the curtain.
to imagine the surprise and concern of those priests on duty in the
temple when that thick curtain ripped apart from top to bottom and
opened God’s presence forever to everyone. Never again would a
priest be necessary for us to approach God. The curtain was torn for
on the cross, Jesus has paid the supreme price for our sins and has
torn open the curtain, giving us access into the very presence of
our Holy God.
Sunday, “Come before His presence with singing; enter into His gates
with thanksgiving; and into His courts with praise.” The Way is