Several years ago, I had to call someone in the government to ask a question that was related to my role as a pastor. The place I had to call was the Office of the Registrar General. I tried several times on a Monday, but the line was busy every time. I thought maybe the number I had was out of date, so I called the general information line for the Government of Ontario. The lady on the phone told me that it takes a long time to get through to the Office of the Registrar General; you get put on hold for quite a long time. I told her that I didn’t even get a recording – just a busy signal. She explained that it’s difficult to even get into the automated system. You have to keep hitting “Redial” until you manage to get through, and then you get put on hold. It was especially bad that time of year, when people needed paperwork in order to travel on March Break.
But then she told me some very good news! Since I had a clergy-related question, there was a Clergy Hotline I could call. She gave me the number. I called it, and got an answering machine right away. I left a message, and a few minutes later another lady called me back and was able to answer my question. I was very thankful that day that I had direct access to the Government of Ontario, and I am very thankful every day that I have direct access to the throne of God. That access was opened up to me by Jesus’ death and resurrection, and was symbolized by a dramatic miracle of God that took place when Jesus was on the Cross.
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:50-51a)
That curtain separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (also called the Holy of Holies) which contained the Ark of the Covenant, and was a special place where God's presence dwelt. Only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and only once a year on the Day of Atonement, with the blood of atonement and the smoke of incense. It was like entering the throne room of God!
At the moment Jesus died on the Cross, this grand curtain was torn in two! You could say that in that moment, the curtain resigned its office, effective immediately. It happened at 3:00 pm, at the time the evening sacrifice began. The priests would have been in the Holy Place at that time, and would have seen that curtain rip in two. I imagine they feared for their lives when they realized they were looking right into the Most Holy Place.
The Bible says that the curtain was ripped from top to bottom, and that’s an important detail. It wasn’t ripped by someone on the floor – it was God’s Hand that ripped the curtain. He did it to show that Jesus is our Great High Priest, and by His blood we may now approach God! By His blood, all believers now have direct access to the throne of God.
Today’s Good News is that if you believe in Jesus, you have direct access to the one true God – the Creator and King of this universe. You can come to Him in prayer 24 hours a day. You will never get a busy signal, and you will never get put on hold.
I am recommending some “homework” to go along with this lesson. I encourage you to read Hebrews 10:19-23. If you are not yet saved, I encourage you to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. (For an explanation of what that means, please read my first devotional, which was posted March 1.) If you are already a believer, I’d like to offer you this challenge: Don’t live as if the curtain is still up!
When we don’t accept Jesus’ forgiveness for sins, we are living as if the curtain is still up. When we drift out of fellowship with the Lord, we are living as if the curtain is still up. When we return to old sins, we are living as if the curtain is still up. When we neglect to pray, we are living as if the curtain is still up. The curtain has come down, so enjoy the direct access to God that you have been given.
Now, go share the Good News…
Today’s devotional is Part #2 of a series on The Miracles of Calvary. I invite you to return every day this week, as we continue our Easter series.
An important source for this series was a book by William R. Nicholson called The Six Miracles of Calvary.
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.