Summary: When Jesus died the curtain in the temple which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn from top to bottom. Through the sacrifice of Jesus the presence of God is made available to all but not all may enter.
The Curtain In The Temple
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Please open your Bibles to Mark 15:33-39
Last week we talked about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and what it means for us who have devoted our lives to serving and following the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I say, “those of us who have devoted our lives to serving and following the Lord Jesus Christ” I am not talking about just pastors but about everyone who is what the Bible defines as being a Christian.
Someone who is “in Christ”, someone who is a “slave of Christ”, someone who has been “crucified with Christ and no longer lives but Christ lives in them.”
That is what a Christian is.
The Lord does not do the “casual dating” type of relationship.
You are either all in or not in at all.
When Jesus died on the cross there was something monumental that happened at the very same time. Something that only gets a small mention but its implications for us are enormous. Something that actually happened at another location.
Does anyone know what that event was?
The temple had two sacred chambers and only priests of the line of Aaron were allowed to enter these chambers.
There was a heavy curtain 60 feet wide and 40 feet high that separated these two chambers.
The first chamber was called the Holy Place where the daily incense offerings were brought before the Lord. This is the place where Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was met by the angel Gabriel and told that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, would have a child and who he would be.
The second, innermost chamber was behind the curtain. This chamber was called the Holy of Holies or The Most Holy Place and only the High priest could enter that area one day each year for the atonement of the sins of all of Israel.
With that in mind let’s look at: Mark 15:33-39
May God bless the reading of His Word … (Prayer for help …)
At the time of Jesus’ death the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom.
What is the significance of this?
The Most Holy Place was where the High Priest would offer incense and sacrifices for the sins of the entire nation of Israel once each year during the Passover festival.
At the time of Moses the very presence of the LORD could actually be seen above the Atonement Cover of the Ark of the Covenant which was located in the Most Holy Place. And the LORD, Himself would actually speak to Moses from that location.
That is why it was called the Most Holy Place, because the presence of God Himself was there!
But, now, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, Christ has made a way for us to enter into the presence of God Himself.
Now, we know that the LORD did speak to various people throughout the Bible but the sacrifice of atonement for sin was only accomplished during the Passover Festival by the High Priest when he would enter the Most Holy Place with the prescribed sacrifices.
But, since Christ, the perfect sacrifice for our sin has been made, there is no longer a need for a priest to offer sacrifices of atonement for us.
We, ourselves, can enter the presence of the Lord.
So, the curtain the prevented us from entering the very presence of God has been parted for us. We can enter the presence of the Lord!
What does it take to enter through that door?
To enter the presence of the Lord a person must be pure in heart
“Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.”
In Psalm 51:9-11 King David prays,