Have you ever thought about curtains? Of course you have – although the ladies perhaps more than the men?
But curtains – not as in room decor – but as in that which divides, separates, shuts out, covers, stops.
We have all heard of the iron curtain.
[The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991.
The term symbolises the efforts by the Soviet Union (USSR) to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states].
So in real life, as in history – dividing and separating.
There is another curtain/veil mentioned in the Bible.
The curtain/veil that separated the holy place from the holiest-of-all place in the Old Testament description of the Temple.
However in the New Testament we are told that…
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. (Acts 17/24)
This is very much a New Testament statement. Because of course it was a different story/dispensation/time under the Old covenant.
In the Old Covenant only the high priest could enter the most holy place (holiest of holies) – once a year. That was it – no one else could enter the Presence of God Almighty.
He is the intensely Holy God of light and perfect righteousness, who Presented Himself in the holiest-of-all place in the temple i.e. e.g.David’s tabernacle, or temple of Solomon.
One of the things the preventative curtain/veil represents is the extremely antithetical nature of God in contradistinction to the nature of man.
They must stay separated. If not – and we see this on a number of occasions in the Old Testament – God can only consume, judge and eradicate the carrier of sin, who ‘stumbles’ into His Presence. (e.g. I Samuel 6/19)
We do not have the slightest notion of how perfect God is and of how awful and despicable sin is to God.
I have tasted how sinful my own heart is in the Presence of God – on quite a few occasions.
And – but for the Grace and Mercy of God as the scripture says: Psalm 130:
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But there is forgiveness with You.
There is no standing before Him. Thankfully there is a veil to keep us out!
However – and this is the good news: If God can find us righteous – we can go beyond the curtain and dwell in the Presence of God without the fear of destruction. But He can’t find our nature anything but sinful – that’s why He must IMPUTE righteousness to us, as a gift to be received or rejected.
That veil that keeps us out of God’s Presence, is taken away in Christ. Now all that remains is for us TO COME TO HIM, ASKING FOR MERCY.
Receiving Christ as our Saviour ‘enables’ God to find us IN His Son – He now sees that acceptable, holy and righteous nature is with us, which enables us to enter into His Presence without fear of retribution.
Because we inherit a new nature, that takes away our sin, and makes us righteous in Christ, we can enter and dwell continuously in God’s Presence, – with us always – even to the end of our life or the world itself.
We become – by accepting Christ – righteous enough to enter the holiest of holies.
Those who do not accept Christ have a remaining veil over their minds, the veil of the sinful fleshly natural mind. That cuts us off from spiritually experiencing the Presence of God, or appreciating the bible.
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
The veil that separates us i.e. our own fleshly nature, our sinfulness, with all it’s tendencies, is no longer the irremovable obstacle that previously prevented us entering the Presence of God, and indeed His Person entering us.
So that every believer in Christ becomes a temple not made with hands, but one that allows God to dwell within.
Christ’s flesh on the cross, represented the destruction of all that separates us from God’s Presence. As His flesh was ripped so the veil in the temple at that time was rent in two at the same time:
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
The reality of the complete opposites, as found in God’s nature and ours – is never diminished. It never changes from being so. That which is of the flesh is flesh, and that which is of The Holy Spirit is spirit.
THE BIGGEST TRUTH THAT MANKIND CANNOT GRASP when considering God – IS HOW COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DIFFERENT GOD’S HOLY NATURE IS IN COMPARISON TO MAN’S.
That’s why man can blaspheme, ridicule, accuse, mock and reject the God of the bible. He hasn’t a clue as to what he is doing in rejecting Christ.
He cannot grasp what all the fuss is about – when God corrects or punishes sin.
God is some big ogre who is out to condemn and bully mankind – is the perception of the unbeliever. He never stops to think that he is a sinner and deserving of punishment because of how ugly his nature is.
The same veil on his mind, the veil of unbelief also stops him seeing the love, mercy, long-suffering, goodness, gentleness, life-giving, all-wise and forgiving God who wants to come and give us spiritual life and life more abundantly! The One who has made a way for the nature of sin to be replaced with His nature in our lives.
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…”