Matthew 27:51 (Veiled Glories)

From even His youth, Jesus’ life on earth was bound up with the temple in Jerusalem, which represented the presence of His Heavenly Father.  At His baptism the heavens were torn open (Mar 1:10, ESV) from which God’s Spirit descended upon Him to become the living temple of His Spirit during His ministry on earth.  Now at His death upon the cross as the veil of His flesh that concealed that hidden glory of God was torn and He yielded that Spirit back up into the hands of the Father, the veil of the temple was also torn in two from top to bottom to reveal that the glory that had once filled it was now gone.  Although to the Jews belonged the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises (Rom 9:4), because they resisted His Spirit and would not allow the Spirit of Christ to dwell in their temple, that Spirit had now departed, and their house was left to them desolate; see Mat 23:38.  Without His presence it was only a matter of time before the rest of their temple would be destroyed, never again to be rebuilt.  And yet, just three days later God would rebuild the holy dwelling place of His presence in magnificent glory by returning to Jesus the Spirit of His life and raising Him from the dead.  Fifty days later, after His ascension to heaven, that same Spirit would be poured out upon His followers betrothed to Him as His Bride, so the Church would now become the temple of the Lord to reveal His hidden glory to the whole world as the true Israel of God (Psa 73:1, Rom 2:28,29, Gal 3:7, 6:16, 1Co 3:16).

Besides the glory of the Lord in His temple, in what other ways does Scripture talk about the glory of the Lord being concealed, or a veil concealing a hidden glory?  See Exo 3:6, 33:23, 34:33-35, 40:21,34-35, 1Ki 19:13, Isa 6:2,5, 1Co 11:4-7,13-15, 2Co 3:12-18, 4:6-11.  Considering also the incarnation into our world of Immanuel, God in the flesh, to a poor family in a stable, His lack of material possessions and entrance as king into Jerusalem riding upon a borrowed donkey, what are we to understand about the nature of God in regard to His glory?  Is He at all like fallen men who pridefully delight to flaunt their glory to others?  Is the nature of God’s glory anything at all like the glory of men that they would parade before others in order to exalt themselves?  What is the true nature of God’s glory that is veiled from men especially because of their sin so that they cannot see it?  Cf. Mat 20:25-28, 27:28-31.

Consider that the original tabernacle that God prescribed as His dwelling place on earth was not a large and elaborately decorated temple but a plain tent; how did that foreshadow the type of people whom His Spirit would come to fill and gather together as His Church to be His temple?  See Luk 12:32, 1Co 1:18-21,26-28, 3:16.  Although God may condescend to man’s efforts to worship Him the best he knows how and according to His own purposes (cf. 2Sa 7:1-7,12-13, 2Ch 6:7-9,18-19), considering the nature of His glory and the type of temple He would inhabit, should we be surprised that His Spirit would forsake an ostentatious temple like Solomon’s or Herod’s that more reflects the world’s glory—especially when the original humility that built them gives way to spiritual pride—to dwell in humble vessels that better reflect His own glory?  How does this help us to understand why religious movements that become successful and build great ministries seem in time to lose the very Spirit that made them great, as the humble devotion that built them degenerates from the nature of God’s glory into the pride of worldly glory?  In this light, should those intent upon a ministry that reflects the hidden nature of God’s glory invest itself in elaborate buildings and programs, or in the transformed lives of broken sinners?

Although a veil is meant to conceal a hidden glory, is such glory hidden from all or meant to remain concealed?  Or is it only hidden in the sense of it being a mystery that is concealed until the appropriate time when it shall be revealed to those for whom it is intended?  See Mat 11:25-27, Mar 4:22, Rom 8:18, 1Co 2:7-8, Col 2:2-3, 3:3-4, 1Pe 1:10-12, 5:1.  For example, for whom is the Christian woman’s glory concealed by her head covering meant to be revealed?  And what hidden glory does her veil also speak to in regard to the despised, foolish things of the world that God has chosen as a Bride for His Son?  See Eph 5:27,31-32.  In regard to this mystery of Christ’s Bride, what was the mystery of the glory concealed by the veil Moses put over his face?  See 2Co 3:7-16, Eph 3:4-12, Col 1:25-27, Heb 8:13.

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The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God

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  • From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
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  • Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
  • What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?