How did people’s lives change when Jesus died and the veil of the temple was torn in two (Mark 15:38)? The Israelites in Jesus’ day were caught up in hate: hating the Roman occupation, hating tax collectors and fighting every human sin that we face today. God’s prescription for the Jews until that time was animal blood sacrifices to cover their sins.
That’s a startling concept for us today.
I’ve never lived under a requirement calling for such sacrifices for my sins. In fact, until my early 20’s I just ignored my sins.
For us now, the veil is gone; we have direct access to God because of the sacrifice on the cross by Jesus. Our sins are forgiven once and for all. The old requirement for regular blood sacrifices was paid, completed, perfected and eliminated, once and for all, by God’s own Son.
From Good Friday until now, everyone—Jews and Gentiles alike—are offered the choice to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for our sins. If we repent and transfer our trust from our own “estate” to a “living trust” in Christ alone, then we begin a new life of reciprocal love of God: a love that brings joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22).
We know we’re not naturally like that, but by God’s grace we have the Holy Spirit to give us this fruitful, abundant life, relieved of the bondage of sin.
After the veil was torn, each of us has full access to God. John 16:7-15 explains the coming of the Holy Spirit, who is “the Helper” to all who will consider drawing closer to God and looking beyond the veil. “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” “He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” “…He will guide you into all truth.”
With the Holy Spirit in our life, it’s like having an internal navigation system that constantly points us to Christ and the fullness of life and freedom that only He can offer.
But will we listen?
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” Is Satan, the thief, distracting you with riches, comfort or entertainment that crowd out the blessings of God? Are we letting him steer us in a wrong direction?
Or now that the veil is gone, do we get our direction from God through his Spirit toward obedience and serving in his kingdom? My experience is that a life of abundance comes as we realize our security in knowing we have eternal life (John 6:47), as we bring the whole tithe to God (Mal. 3:10), as we seek to be a disciple of Christ and then make disciples, as we teach obedience to following God (Matt 28:19) and, led by the Spirit, we spread the joy of peace and security in resting in the certainty of his love.
With the veil gone, we more clearly see God’s love and provision in his Word. We have the gifts of the Spirit to empower us in ministry, knowing for sure we are obedient to his will. This Easter season, set your morning GPS to draw close to God, stay the course, and He will be close to you.