Torn

Anytime we think of something being torn, we envision a bit of destruction.  A teacher tears up a test because a student cheated {guilty}.  A child tears up their knee falling off their bike {done that too}.  A heart is torn when faced with loss, disappointment, and heartache {boy howdy}.  Being “torn” doesn’t seem to have any good implications, but what if the first thing that came to mind wasn’t something bad.  What if it were something amazing, something freeing?

In the book of Matthew, we read an account of Jesus’ crucifixion; ok not a happy thing to think about, but look at what happened when Christ died…

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.  At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom….” ~Matthew 27:50-51

     To understand how awesome it is that this curtain was torn and why that  bit of destruction would make me want to jump for joy, I need to take you back to the Old Testament for a moment…or two.

     This is a very simple diagram of Solomon’s Temple {the Bible geek in me LOVES this stuff} and I want you to focus on one particular space.  The space to the left in red is called the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place.  What you can’t really tell is that there is a thick curtain separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple.  This curtain was woven as one single piece and was anywhere between 5″-9″ thick depending on what scholar you’re reading.  Behind that curtain was the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments {also called the Covenant tablets}, Aaron’s staff and a jar of manna.  More importantly, the people were told that God resided in the Holy of Holies and only one person could approach God there and only once a year to offer atonement for the people.  That one person was the High Priest.  If anyone went behind that curtain without God’s permission, were found to be with fault, or touched the Ark of the Covenant…they would die…Not exactly a warm and fuzzy view of the relationship God desires to have with His children…so something needed to change and we weren’t going to be the ones to make that change.

     God desired to have a one on one relationship with His people, just as He did with Adam and Eve before the Fall, but our sin was keeping us separated from His presence. Our disobedience and rebellion placed a deep wedge between ourselves and God.  But because of His love for us and the fact that we couldn’t do anything ourselves to heal this broken relationship, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross, free us from our sin, and open that direct connection with Him…we are no longer separated from God by our sin, we no longer need a middle man to talk to God for us.  We can go to Him anytime, anywhere and for anything.

     Now whenever I think of something being torn, I think about that curtain and the LOVE that God has for me, that He would want to hear my prayers and have that personal relationship.  Hopefully, you will think of that too…

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