As Jesus died upon the cross and the glory of God’s Spirit departed the earthly tent of His flesh the veil of the temple was torn in two signifying multiple spiritual truths. Jesus’ whole life was intimately connected with the temple as the dwelling place or tabernacle of His Father (see Joh 1:14), so the rending of His flesh unto death was matched by the rending of the veil into the temple’s innermost sanctum to reveal that its glory had departed. As the Jewish nation had desolated the house of God’s presence in crucifying His Son, He would now desolate their house, for without His presence it could not stand and it was only a matter of time before it would be destroyed; cf. 1Sa 4:16-17,21-22, Jer 7:11-12, Mat 23:38.
The rending of Christ’s flesh and the temple veil also signified the new and living way through the veil into the holy place, which is by following Him in the way of the cross by dying to our self-will that is the root of our sin. It is only by taking up our cross to follow Christ and dying to self that we are able to enter through the veil into the dwelling place of God and behold the true nature of His glory, which is not to exalt or flaunt one’s power over others, but to lay down one’s life in service to others. Whereas the veil separated sinful man from the presence of God to behold His glory, in submitting ourselves to Christ as His Bride He fills us with the glory of His Spirit both individually and corporately to become the new temple of God as His holy tabernacle on earth; see Joh 14:23, 1Co 3:16, 6:19. It is in this way that the veil of death that is stretched over all peoples so they cannot see God’s hidden glory is swallowed up and removed; Isa 25:6-9, 1Co 15:54-55.
In rending the veil of the temple God also signified the unveiling through the New Covenant enacted by Christ’s death the mysteries of the Old Covenant that were but types and shadows that pointed to the substance which is found in Christ (Col 2:17, Heb 10:1). Perhaps the greatest of those mysteries foreshadowed by the impending destruction of the temple was the breaking down of the dividing wall of separation between Jew and Gentile by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which was all the ceremonial law of commandments made obsolete by Christ’s death. For although the Gentiles were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the promises of the Old Covenant, it was too small a thing for Christ in establishing the New Covenant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the remnant of Israel. And so He became a light to the nations to bring salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa 49:6), in order that the Gentiles might no longer be strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and equal members together with the Jews of God’s household (Eph 2:12,19). For through Him they, as the temple of the Lord, both have access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph 2:18).
Considering that God forsook His tabernacle at Shiloh as well as both Solomon’s and Herod’s temples because the sinfulness of His people would not allow His Spirit to tabernacle among them, should we imagine that He will spare the tabernacle of His Bride the Church if she likewise refuses His Spirit and instead commits adultery with the world? See Jam 4:4, Mat 19:9, and consider that in this life we are only betrothed to Christ as His Bride (2Co 11:2), and it is to such adultery that the exception clause for divorce applies; cf. Mat 1:18-19. See also 2Th 2:1-12, Rev 17:1-6,15, 18:1-5, and contrast Rev 21:2.
As Jesus yielded up His Spirit with a great cry, that like the secret forces bound up in tiny atoms was so full of power as to rend the veil of the temple in two from top to bottom (cf. Zec 4:6), what other physical manifestations of that momentous spiritual event does Matthew record that happened? See Mat 27:51. Is there perhaps a further connection between the cry Jesus let out in yielding up His Spirit and the earth shaking and the rocks being split? See Eze 3:12-13 in the LXX, Joe 3:16, and note that earthquakes can be heard as well as felt, especially if underground. See also Isa 29:6, as well as Eze 37:7 where the noise that the NAS equates with a rattling is better translated as a shaking, as in the KJV. Note also that what the NAS translates as “the rocks were split” in Mat 27:51 is the same word used earlier in the verse to say that the veil was torn; (cf. the KJV that translates both as rent). See also Isa 48:21, 1Co 10:4, Col 1:17, 1Pe 2:6-8; cf. Deut 32:4,15,18, 30-31, Psa 18:1-7,31, 71:3, Mat 7:24-25.
 Eze 3:12-13 LXE 12 Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me the voice as of a great earthquake, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place. 13 And I perceived the sound of the wings of the living creatures clapping one to the other, and the sound of the wheels was near them, and the sound of the earthquake.
 I was in the underground science library at the University of Wyoming in the 1980s when I heard an approaching, rumbling sound like a freight train and was perplexed as I thought to myself that we were a long way from the trains that ran through town. But then I felt the shaking and saw the bookcases begin to sway back and forth and realized it was an earthquake.
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?