On Thursday of Passion Week as Jesus was raised upon the cross about noon a supernatural darkness came over the land corresponding to the spiritual sun going down at noon upon the Jewish nation. Their Messiah had come, but what ought to have been the brightest time of day was turned to darkness by their rejection of His Spirit. Now, three hours later as that darkness was giving way to light, that light was already making its way to a nation that would bear its fruit; Mat 21:43. For as Jesus yielded up His Spirit, its glory departing the torn veil of His flesh so affected the Roman centurion standing in front of Him that he proclaimed Him divine, the very thing for which the Jews crucified Him; Mat 26:63, 27:54. At the same time, the veil of the temple meant to conceal God’s hidden glory was torn in two to reveal that His glory was no longer there, but had departed to leave that house desolate (Mat 23:38). In just a matter of time it would be completely destroyed as God’s Spirit would now come to dwell in the humble vessels of His Church that He Himself would build out of living stones uncut by man into a magnificent temple reflecting His own hidden glory. For in dying upon the cross to deliver men from their sin and show them the way to life through death, Christ also showed us the way through the veil to behold and partake of that hidden glory. For the true glory of God is not at all what fallen man thinks of as glorious, and can only be seen and shared in by following Christ in the way of the cross to die to our own self-will in service to others, which is the true nature and glory of God. To behold the fulness of God’s glory is to die to self, and so to enter within the veil requires our death. The veil, then, served to protect God’s people from being destroyed by His glory before they were prepared to become partakers of it as He intended. But now, because the Jewish nation refused to follow its Messiah in the way of the cross, God’s glory had departed from it, making it obsolete, and what had become obsolete would soon disappear (Heb 8:13). For now, rather than through the ostentatious temple of Herod that the Jews took pride in but that no longer reflected His true glory, His hidden glory would now be revealed to the whole world through the individual stones of His Church, filled with His Spirit, which in just a short time would be composed primarily of Gentiles; cf. 1Co 3:16, 6:19.
Besides the veil separating us from the hidden glory of God, what other dividing wall of separation in God’s temple was broken down by the rending of Christ’s flesh? See Eph 2:11-22. As two rooms may be separated by a wall between them, what happens when that wall is removed? Cf. Joh 10:16, 17:20-21. What was the wall or partition that separated Jew and Gentile? See Eph 2:14-15, Gal 3:13-14, Col 2:13-14,16,17,20-23, Heb 9:7-10, 13:9. Although Christ’s death broke down the barrier between Jew and Gentile by inaugurating a new covenant and making the old covenant with its ceremonial law of rules and regulations obsolete, does that mean that there is no longer a moral law of righteousness that must be observed? See Mat 5:17-19, Act 15:28-29, Rom 8:3-4, 1Co 7:19, 9:20-21, 1Jo 2:3-4; cf. Act 5:29,32, Rom 2:8, 6:16, Gal 5:7, Phil 2:12, 2Th 1:8, Heb 5:9, 1Pe 4:17. What is the law of Christ that we must still obey? See Joh 15:12, Rom 13:8-10, Gal 5:14, Jam 2:8.
Considering that the old covenant with its ceremonial law that applied especially to the physical temple was made obsolete by the new covenant and has now passed away and been replaced by the Church as the dwelling place of God’s Spirit (1Co 3:16), should we imagine that the physical temple is going to be rebuilt and the ceremonial law reinstituted before Christ can return? On the contrary, how should we understand Paul’s words in 2Th 2:1-4 that the coming of the Lord will not happen until the man of lawlessness is revealed and takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God? In what way has the modern gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone and its mantra, “Once saved, always saved”, allowed a false and lawless Jesus to take his seat in the Church? Contrast Mat 5:17, Rom 8:4, Jam 2:17-24.
Although the ceremonial law that was the barrier of the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile was broken down by Christ’s death, does that mean that it is no longer useful “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”? See 2Ti 3:16, Rom 15:4. On the contrary, what does the entire book of Hebrews remind us about how much the law actually teaches us about Christ? See for example Gal 3:19-25, Heb 9:1-26. In what sense then did the rending of the veil in the temple also signify the unveiling of the secret things hidden in the old covenant Scriptures that pointed to the deeper spiritual realities that are found in Christ? See Deut 29:29, Amo 3:7, Mat 13:35, Luk 8:17, Joh 15:15, Rom 11:33-34, 16:25-26, 2Co 3:14-16, and the saying, “The new is in the old concealed, the old is in the new revealed.”
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- 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?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- 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?