The Tabernacle, The Veil, Exodus 26:31-33 - Lesson 45
Our lesson today brings us to concentrate on the veil that divides the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle.
Exodus 26:31-33, And thou shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made: And thou shall hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And thou shall hang up the veil under the taches, that you may bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.
The first mention of the word "veil" in the Bible occurs in that passage in Genesis 24 where the first meeting of Isaac and Rebekah is recorded.
Remember that Abraham sent his servant to his kindred in Mesopotamia for the purpose of bringing a bride to Isaac from a far country.
Our story begins when we are told that Isaac went out to meditate in the field at evening.
I would imagine he came to this place often for he knew from what direction his fatherís servant would be coming to bring his bride.
What anticipation it must have been on the part of both Isaac and Rebekah to finally meet the one to whom they were to wed.
From Isaacís place of meditation he lifted up his eyes and saw camels with riders coming.
No doubt Abrahamís servant told Rebekah that they were near the camp and while seated on the camel she too lifted up her eyes, and looked to see a man coming to meet them.
What she said is recorded in Genesis 24:65-67, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarahís tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her (Where the title of Mrs Hobbs book came from): and Isaac was comforted after his motherís death.
I want you to note the fact that while Rebekah was seated on the camel, while Rebekah was in the presence of men in the caravan, her face was uncovered but when she knew that her beloved was to see her she immediately took a veil and covered herself.
The inference of this is that Isaac did not see her face until the consummation of the marriage.
This tradition of the veil and the uncovering of the veil continues to this day but in somewhat altered fashion for our marriage ceremonies resemble little of that which took place in Isaacís day.
In fact there was no marriage ceremony recorded in the passage I read however this does not necessarily mean there wasnít one.
Now in our day many brides choose to wear a veil and the veil is not removed until the marriage ceremony is concluded.
On occasion after the "I dos" are said and the pronunciation that they are now man and wife, the father lifts the veil, presenting the bride to the groom or the groom lifts the veil, kissing the bride, which in our day is a symbol of the consummation of the marriage.
So the lifting of the veil may be ceremonially recognized as the crowning event of the wedding, when the beauty of the bride is finally revealed to the groom, for prior to its lifting her face was hidden from all.
But upon the lifting of the veil an intimacy takes place.
Now on this side of the Old Testament and 2000 years into the New Testamental period we are given to see how this tradition is also displayed in the tabernacle when it comes to the veil that God told Moses to place between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
But before we get deep into that let us remember that we have been given in the book of Revelation a picture of a wedding celebration.
Revelation 21:2-3, And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
This wedding celebration is the consummation of the plan of redemption of God which was displayed in the tabernacle.
Remember the veil of the tabernacle was seen from both the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
The priests saw the veil from the Holy Place but God also saw the veil from the Most Holy Place.
The veiled bride is hidden from the groom but the groom is also hidden from the bride.
The taking off of the veil reveals one to the other.
This picture that is given in Revelation is a picture of a marriage and the veil has been removed.
Now of course this is connected to the temple veil that was rent in twain immediately following the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark 15:37, And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
Matthew 27:51, And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
The veil was symbolic of a separation between God and man.
With a veil, intimacy was not possible.
Before the rending of the veil, mankind had no direct access to God's presence.
But because of the shedding of blood and the death of Jesus Christ God tore away the barrier, God lifted the veil, that had kept Him from an intimate relationship with his creation ever since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden.
The renting of the veil was Godís message to man that the door to intimate fellowship with Him was now open wide.
The act of removing the veil was supernatural for God rent it from top to bottom.
It took place at the ninth hour which would be our 3 PM when the priests were busy in the Temple preparing the evening sacrifice.
Most likely hundreds of people were in the Temple area, and hundreds were near this miraculous event.
Imagine the shock and awe that the priests must have felt as they heard and viewed the divine act of God tearing the huge veil in half.
The empty room of the Holy of Holies stood wide open before the priests, indicating an intimate fellowship was now possible and all could enter that fellowship which prior to the renting of the veil no priest, except the high priest, had enjoyed since the inception of the Tabernacle.
Finally the blood, which all the blood of thousands of bulls and goats pointed to, had been sprinkled and the Father was satisfied.
He commanded and the veil was rent.
It was at this point that God proclaimed to the Jewish people and the world that the ministration of the Jewish priesthood had ended.
No longer was a high priest needed to annually atone for sin.
Jesus, the true high priest, had opened the way for mankind to come into the presence of God through His atoning blood.
The torn veil is a picture of the torn body of Christ, who made it possible for us to worship at the throne of God!
The same hand that tore the veil in the Temple tore the Body of Jesus on our behalf.
The writer of Hebrews states it plainly and boldly:
Hebrews 10:19-20, Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into
the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath
consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Through His death, Jesus opened for the first time a way for man to have direct and intimate access to God.
He said He was the Way and He proved it by a new and living way.
The word "new" in the Greek means freshly slain, newly slain, which describes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
It happened almost 2000 years ago but it never grows old.
His blood flowed once and for all but His new and living way never grows old for through it all things become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
His shed blood is a continual fountain, cleansing all who appropriate it for their sin.
Not only is it new, but it is a living way or a life-giving way.
Christ, who is the only way, the truth and the life, has made it possible for us to enter into God's presence through the veil, that is to say as Hebrews 10:20 says, His flesh.
As the groom lifts the veil the barrier to intimacy is lifted.
And so God in rending the veil changed it from a barrier to a gateway.
For believers in Jesus, the rent veil means that we have a mediator who has opened the way for us to have access to the throne of God.
It means that we can come at any time into the presence of God with the confidence that we will obtain mercy and find grace to help us in any need we bring before God.
Since we now have the high privilege of entering into God's presence, we are exhorted to exercise a fourfold commitment to the Lord, as expressed in Hebrews 10:22-25.
First, we are to be cleansed for worship:
Hebrews 10:22, Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance
of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies
washed with pure water.
We are to draw near to God with a true heart, with purity of motives.
We are to strive to have the heart of God.
We are to draw near with full assurance.
We are to come with anticipation of appropriating all that God has promised to those who come before Him in right relationship.
We are to have our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience having been washed in the Blood.
We must be washed daily in Godís laver, the word of God.
Then, and only then, can we enter the Holy of Holies with a pure conscience before God.
We must experience the cleansing of Jesus through His blood, His Spirit and His word.
Second, we are exhorted to have a confession before the world.
Hebrews 10:23, Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;
We are not to waver or bend in our faith facing the possibility of persecution.
We should not rely on our own strength but God's strength who said, "I will never leave you nor forsake thee."
God has promised that He will never abandon us under any circumstances; so we take great comfort and encouragement in God's precious promises, which give us strength to stand with a consistent life before a world that opposes every step of our faith.
Third, we are to exhort others to a life of commitment in the work.
Hebrews 10:24, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
We are to continually care for the spiritual welfare of fellow Believers, to provoke them to live lives of love and good works in their walk before the world and fellow believers.
In love we are to stir up one another to exercise the spiritual gifts that have been given to us by the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, we are exhorted not to forsake corporate worship.
Hebrews 10:25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
We are not to abandon local church fellowships.
Believers have the glorious privilege of approaching God directly but we are members of the body of Christ and the body is to work with all its parts.
Many in the church, erect walls or veils around themselves, putting their faith in faulty things, slack in their service to God, and only choose to fellowship with the body of Christ on their terms having a "whatís in it for me" spirit instead of exhorting one another to greater devotion to our Lord.
One of the lessons of the veil is that God has worked a way to remove the veil between himself and you and me but only you can remove any veil that you have put between yourself and Him.
All it takes is a simple act of repentance and confession from our hearts that we have sinned and He will come to us and tear that veil down just as He did 2,000 years ago at Calvary's tree.
He wants unbroken fellowship with us without sin and doubt and unbelief which separates us.
He wants us to have total access and use that access for His glory!
He wants us to draw near to him, not draw or pull away from HIM.
In these last days which are going to be filled with more trouble than any of us have seen in our lifetimes the only sure "anchor of the soul," will be that intimate relationship with God that has been opened to us though the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus Christ.