“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.”
Luke 23:44, 45
One can only imagine the trauma that occurred that wonderful day when our Savior bled and died for our sins. Jesus “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24), and He became “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:21). Darkness covered the earth from noon until three o’clock in the afternoon. This miraculous darkness should have been a testimony to those who rejected the message of Christ, in that the light of the world was taken from them. In another place, the Bible tells us that the earth quaked and the rocks were rent. The price was being paid for our eternal redemption. The judgment of Holy God was being satisfied in the sacrifice of His precious Son. The bondage of sin was being broken, and the way to Heaven was made possible. Oh, glorious day!
The Scripture records that “the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” It was this veil that separated the holy place where the priests served, from the Holy of Holies, where only the high priest was allowed to enter. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat. This separating veil was sixty feet tall and thirty feet wide. The rending of the veil symbolized that the way into God’s presence had now been provided for all saints, through the blood of our Mediator. The way to Heaven was now open to all who come unto God by Him, our great High Priest. Those who put their faith in Christ as their Savior can come boldly to God without the service of any mediator except the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, we all are called priests in the New Testament.
Both Matthew and Mark record that the veil was rent “from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38). This signifies that the way of salvation was only possible as God came from Heaven to man. Mankind could never bridge the distance from his sin to God’s holiness by any effort or merit of his own. Religion can never take away our sins and present us faultless in the presence of the Almighty. God had to come to man and pay for our redemption with His own body. Praise God, the veil was rent; and we have access into God’s presence through Jesus Christ!