Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
I can remember the first time I ever got the opportunity to sit at the “adult table” for a holiday gathering. Until I reached college, if family got together there were 2 places to sit, the adult table or the kids table. Kids didn’t sit with the adults and adults didn’t sit with the kids. The first time I was invited to the adult table I can remember feeling oddly grown up. I had made it, I had arrived. But I also felt a little out of place, almost as if I didn’t belong. Grown-ups were talking about grown up things and the stuff I was used to talking about with my like-minded siblings and cousins felt so juvenile. I can remember not knowing what to say and not knowing how to act as I sat there in this new place.
Many years ago my parents traded out their two tables for one large 10 foot table with long bench seats spanning the sides. Now when we all gather together as a family everyone sits together. It doesn’t matter if you’re 2 or 102, you sit at the same table together. Everyone talks over one another and we laugh and cut up together. There is no separation. Conversation flows and there is no distinction between the ages. When it comes time to gather at the table we all gather at the table.
In Matthew 27 verse 51 scripture tells us that “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” This happened at the moment that Jesus yielded up His spirit, hung His head and died for the sins of man. During the time when Jesus walked the earth the temple, or place of worship, had two rooms: the Holy Place and the innermost room called the Holy of Holies. These rooms were separated by a large veil, or curtain. The Holy of Holies represented the presence of God. Only once a year on the Day of Atonement were God’s people granted access into the Holy of Holies and only one person, the high priest, was allowed in. This is detailed in the book of Leviticus in chapter 16.
On the Day of Atonement the high priest would pass through the veil of the temple into the Holy of Holies where he would sprinkle blood from the sin offering in order to atone for the sins of the people of Israel. When Jesus died the curtain of the temple was torn open from top to bottom. When the veil of the temple was torn open it symbolized that Jesus, our Great High Priest, irrevocably tore open the way back to God. No longer did God’s people have to go through an earthly high priest, they could go directly to God for the forgiveness of their sins through Jesus!
Back then there was a great distinction between the people of God and the high priest, think kids table versus adult table. But when the veil was torn all the distinctions were stripped away. There is no distinction, we are all equal, we all have the same access to the Lord.
Today we can rest in the fact that the veil is torn open and we have direct access to the Lord. When we speak to the God of the universe we can be assured that He hears us! And not only does He hear us, He also cares for us! Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we all have a seat at the table, no matter where we are on our faith journey!
What about you, are you still living as if you don’t have access to the Lord, as if you are not smart enough, educated enough, Christian enough? Do you place unnecessary distinctions between you and other believers? Today rest in the fact that God is near, He is in our midst, and we have unlimited access to Him! Take your burdens, heartache, and disappointments to the one that is near!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the undeserved privilege you give us to just be near you through the blood of Jesus! What an awesome privilege we have to rest in you and know that you walk with us through all that we are going through! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.