Exodus Twenty Six reveals God’s specific and elaborate plans for his tabernacle, to be carried out by skilled craftsmen, so the Holy Place where people fellowship with God is worthy of such a meeting. A perfect place. Built with luxurious fabric and precious metals.
Then there is the Most Holy Place. Separated from the rest of the temple by a veil – a curtain 60 feet high, 30 feet wide and four inches thick (can you imagine?) – It is made with blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker. Hanging from gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. Behind the curtain is the place established to house God’s presence on earth. It’s where he “stays” until Christ dies on the cross. And that changes everything.
The word “veil” refers to something that separates or hides. The veil of the tabernacle was hiding God’s presence and separating him from his sinful people. It’s an arrangement that everyone understood and accepted for more than a thousand years. It’s just how things were.
And it’s no wonder that the idea of God’s presence living in a human heart was so incredibly hard to grasp.
But the moment Jesus cries out from the cross, and breathes his last breath, the curtain of the temple is torn in two from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:51) At that moment, God’s presence is released to reside in human hearts. No longer hidden in the tabernacle. No longer separated from sinful men. The tabernacle was an elaborate home for sure – fit for a king – yet God steps out from behind the curtain and takes my hand.
Praise Jesus for sacrificing himself on the cross so that I can know God personally. Praise him for tearing down barriers – not just ‘hiding’ the sin in my heart, but washing it white as snow. (Psalm 51:7)