The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mark 15:38
This sentence describes what must be one of the most underrated events in Scripture. The curtain in the temple was made of heavy material and thought to be 30 feet high. No human hand could have torn it at all, let alone from top to bottom. What were the priests thinking when the curtain suddenly tore completely in two?
The curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary. Only one of the priests could enter and then only once a year with a blood offering. God intended the curtain would picture for us how sin separates us from God. When Jesus died the curtain tearing illustrates that the way is opened for us to come into the very presence of God.
In my mind’s eye, I see the priests frantically rushing around trying to sew the curtain back together again, thinking they were going to die because they had seen inside the Holy of Holies. I wonder if they ever stopped to consider what God was saying to them? Jesus’ sacrifice was the only sacrifice that was sufficient for all sins “for all time” (Hebrews 10:12).
The curtain being torn gives us confidence that Jesus’ death was accepted as punishment for our sins. We can be forgiven, and as forgiven people, we can draw near to God. “Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus … let us draw near to God” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
The curtain was no longer necessary. God ripped the curtain to demonstrate that we can draw near to him.