Lenten Reader | Day 39


It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

- Luke 23:44-49
“The curtain was torn in two,” the priest exclaimed! “We were in the temple performing our priestly duties and finishing the evening sacrifices wondering why it was so dark outside when suddenly the earth shook and the curtain tore in two. The curtain that separates the holy of holies which is 60 feet high, four inches thick, woven with blue, purple, and scarlet threads and fine twisted linen with cherubim embroidered in it. It’s impossible, but it tore in half from the top down. Suddenly we were looking into the place of the mercy-seat of God. We didn’t know what to do so we ran out.”

Some weeks earlier Jesus was having a conversation with a Samaritan woman. She asked him where the proper place of worship was. Was it Mt. Gerizim in Samaria or Mount Zion in Jerusalem? He told her that the time was coming when it wouldn’t matter because true worshipers would worship in spirit and in truth.

Then the curtain was torn in two. God’s presence was no longer confined to the holy of holies. Sacrifices were no longer needed. The once-and-for-all sacrifice was done. The temple is no longer needed. The High priests are out of work. Jesus is the new high priest, the forever-high priest who will intercede for us before the Father. There is a new curtain. If we let God in through that curtain to sit on the throne of our heart, then we can worship him anywhere, anytime. Let us worship him right now in spirit and in truth. The curtain was torn in two.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings.” Hebrews 10:19-23

-Steve Manchester