“You shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman.”
Exodus has this really detailed description of the tabernacle and what the components are that make it up and how, precisely, they are to be made. These, both individually and as a collective whole, paint a picture of God and His relationship with mankind and the terms of salvation and … and … and …. With so many awesome pictures, I could spend a morning on each and every one, but that doesn’t seem to be the way things are going.
As I read, this morning, I found myself caught by this article of the tabernacle. The veil. This is the veil that would be torn from top to bottom during Jesus’ crucifixion. This veil divided the place where the Israelites would come to worship and the place where God’s presence would be: the Most Holy Place. This was a symbol shown to the Israelites every time they came to worship. This was a reminder to them of a truth that we are quick to forget. Sin separates us from God.
See, the veil was made of blue and purple, colors symbolic of holiness and royalty. God is a Holy King and cannot be approached by anyone or anything that is not likewise holy. The veil also had scarlet in it. God would say through Isaiah that our sins are like scarlet. So, God’s holiness and our sin combine to create a barrier between us and God. The cherubim in the veil are a class of angel. Four cherubim surround God’s presence when He appears to Ezekiel and seraphim surround His throne in Heaven. The message being communicated, I think, is that there must be an intermediary between us and God. Angel is from the Greek angelos, which means messenger. So, we need messengers — and one Messenger in particular. The Bible says that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man: the Man, Jesus Christ.
So it is that this veil, beautiful though it may have been, was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died. His death removed the separation between us because sin was no longer an issue. Jesus’ blood washes away our sin. God’s righteousness was no longer a separating factor, as Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that God made Him Who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The veil is gone and there is now, for our comfort or terror, nothing standing between us and God except Jesus Christ. For the one who has placed their trust in Christ, it is comfort. Not only can we directly access the Father through the Door of the Son, but we have the Holy Spirit translating our feeble words into Heavenly phrases that communicate exactly what we mean to say but lack the words. For the one who does not trust in God, the veil’s removal is terror, for there is now nothing to hide them from God or God from them. In Revelation, there are folks crying out to the mountains and rocks to hide them from God. For those, the veil was a comfort; a security blanket of sorts. It hid them (so they thought) from God’s eyes and allowed them to pretend that God wasn’t there. There are still folks living as if the veil remains — including Christians. We — I need to live each and every day in the light of God’s presence. The veil has been removed and God and I have direct access to one another at all times through the Door: Jesus Christ.
Father, please teach me to live in the knowledge that there is no veil; no separation between You and me. Thank You for restoring the intimacy that had been lost since Eden.