The Veil Rent, Not Removed: Part 2

 •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 9
God rent the veil. We should mark the word. God did not remove it Himself, nor did He authorize its removal by others. He did not withdraw it, nor did He roll it up from the bottom, nor lower it from the top like a curtain. He rent it in the midst. And perhaps the priest who ministered that afternoon at the golden altar of incense, or certainly those who entered the sanctuary shortly after its occurrence, must have seen the veil still hanging up on some of the pillars or hooks to which it was attached, but with a way into the holiest at the same time displayed by the rent made in its midst. "A new and living way." A new way it was, for no high priest had in such manner entered the holiest before. Year by year, as often as they observed the ritual appointed for the day of atonement, they must have passed behind the veil; but, now as it was rent, such a way into the holiest was unneeded. A living way it was and is. For none of the sons of Aaron could penetrate within the veil, save the high priest, and then in the prescribed manner, else death would have awaited them and him. Now that the veil had been rent by God, there exists no barrier on His part against the entrance of His people, who are a holy priesthood unto Him, into the place where He is on His throne. But, let it ever be remembered, they can enter only through the veil. The way opened, but opened in this manner; and the veil, as we learn in Heb. 10:2020By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (Hebrews 10:20), being a type of the Lord's flesh, the typical meaning of its colors can be discerned as well as the teaching about the veil itself. Christ died; then the veil was rent, and that of which there had been no type was immediately disclosed. There were types of the Lord's death as the voluntary offering on His part, as well as the sinner's substitute. There were types, too, of Him as a man upon earth, and there were also in the ceremonial law those which had respect to His resurrection (Lev. 14:6, 7; 23:116As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: 7And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. (Leviticus 14:6‑7)
11And he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Leviticus 23:11)
). But there could be no type to illustrate the way into the holiest, to be opened up by His death. The rending of the veil is the only illustration of this, and that once rent was an operation which could never be repeated. The ground on which the entrance would be based was typified as often as the high priest went within the veil with the blood of others; but as the way was to be through the veil-the flesh of Christ-the same veil could only be rent once, if the truth as to the death of Christ once for all was to be taught to and maintained by His people. He died, and God's immediate response to the voluntary surrender of His Son to do His will on the cross, and to be the sinner's substitute, was the significant rending of the veil. Till He died, none born in sin could go with boldness to the mercy seat; but when He died, before ever He was taken down from the cross, men, we learn, were no longer to be kept out of the innermost sanctuary, if only they would approach through the rent veil.
And now, as to the typical teaching of its various colors, etc. There was only one veil, into the fabric of which different colors were introduced. And since that veil was the type of the flesh of Christ, the different colors of blue, purple and scarlet, with the fine twined linen, and cherubim of cunning work, typify certain things, which in combination are seen only in the virgin's Son, conceived by the Holy Ghost. He was the heavenly man (1 Cor. 15:4747The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:47)), so blue is the first color mentioned. Purple, the royal color, suitably finds a place in that veil which was typical of the flesh of Him who was born king of the Jews (Matt. 2:22Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:2); see also John 18:3737Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37)); and though rejected as such by the representatives of the nation (John 19:1515But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. (John 19:15)), He will be set by Jehovah as His King upon His holy hill of Zion (Psalm 2:66Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalm 2:6); Luke 1:32, 3332He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:32‑33)). Moreover, Rev. 19:1212His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (Revelation 19:12) and 16 show us that there will be "many crowns" on His head, and that HE WILL BE "King of Kings." Scarlet is the emblem of worldly glory, and Psalm 8 tells us that all things will be put under Him, as well as that He will be crowned with glory and honor. Solomon's reign typifies that time when all worldly glory and magnificence are connected with the kingdom. Then we have the fine twined linen, declarative of His spotless holiness- "that holy thing which shall be born" (Luke 1:3535And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)). Last, since cherubim are mentioned in Scripture in connection with the judicial action of the throne (Gen. 3; Psalm 18 and 99; Eze. 1 and 10; Rev. 4 and 5), how fitting that the cherubim of cunning work should be wrought on the fabric of that curtain, indicating that the One of whom it was the type, was appointed by God to wield the power of His throne, all judicial action having been committed to Him as Son of man (John 5:22, 2722For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (John 5:22)
27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (John 5:27)
Not only do we read of the veil being erected, but also of its being rent. These are historical facts of which the Word informs us; but facts, too, with the practical bearing of which every Christian should be acquainted. Hence we read in Heb. 10 the exhortation to make use of the road so graciously made for us into God's presence. We approach on the ground that Christ's blood has been shed, but through the veil-His flesh. Thus, while God has opened up for us one way in His grace, surely He would impress on our hearts that no other road can lead us into His presence, if divine judgment is not to overtake us. And as we are indebted to His grace for opening up the way, we are indebted likewise to His goodness for acquainting us with it. Those to whom the sacred writer wrote about it were those best acquainted with the meaning of the veil when unrent; and He would have them, and have us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to make use of the way which Christ has consecrated, or dedicated, for us through the veil-that is to say, His flesh.
Believers then may now with boldness enter the holiest of all, for it is to believers that the exhortation is addressed. For, as of old, none but the priests could enter the sanctuary, so now none but those who believe in the Lord, and as such are members of the "holy priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:55Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)) can enter the holiest of all, and then only through the rent veil-that which, as rent, reminds us of divine judgment poured out on the Son of God's love.
This is truth suited for Christians at all times, and most needful in this day when lax views are abroad concerning God and His grace. Grace is free to all who accept it, and a man's former state and ways are no hindrance, if a believer on the Lord, to his entering the holiest now. But when he enters, and by the way he enters, he bears witness to the holiness of God while sharing in the riches of His grace. He enters by a road which speaks of judgment borne for him by God's own Son. He enters on the ground of the value of Christ's precious blood. He enters by means of His death, through the veil- His flesh. God is merciful and gracious, but never at the expense of His holiness. One road, and one only, has ever been made by which we could enter into His presence. God rent the veil, and by it He teaches us the need there was for His Son to become incarnate, but the imperative necessity, too, of His death. As incarnate, the veil unrent was a type of Christ; but, as such, showed that then no way to enter the holiest had been made manifest. It was the rending of the veil which disclosed the living way into it. Incarnation and crucifixion were both necessary before that way could be made known.
How a simple fact like this and the divine teaching about it preserve the soul from being led away by human thoughts, and men's erroneous conclusions! To be brought into God's presence, in a way in accordance with His mind, while refusing to believe in the mystery of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, is thus shown to be impossible. To profess to believe in His incarnation without bowing to the truth of His atoning death, will shut out a soul from God's presence as completely as the sons of Aaron, the priests, were excluded from all entrance into the holiest. The thought that God is too merciful to punish sinners is refuted by the fact that the Holy One of God had to die before the way into the holiest could be made manifest. Divine judgment has been executed on Him. God has shown at the cross what His holiness demands, while displaying there also what His love could give. And though believers on the Lord Jesus, and they only, have permission to enter the holiest because of the efficacy of His atoning blood, the very road upon which they must travel to reach the mercy seat and the throne, attests both the necessity and the validity of His death. Believers bear witness to the need of the incarnation and the death of Christ when they enter the holiest. Entering through the rent veil-the flesh of Christ-they own that every other avenue by which men would seek to make a way into God's presence, is barred as effectually as ever. One way, and one only, has ever been opened, and that by God Himself-that true and living way which declares in clear, solemn language that only because His Son had died to make atonement, could He rend the veil. For gracious and merciful though He is, He never can be gracious, and He never will be merciful at the expense of His holiness