THE RENTING OF THE VEIL                                                          



The fact of the Holy of Holies Veil, (in the Temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem) being rent from top to bottom, and obviously being visually observed by the ministering Priesthood, has momentous import for both the Jew and the Gentile, but at that moment in time, the Jews!  It is unquestionably clear that the renting was instigated by Jehovah God at the same time as our Lord gave up His Spirit to His Father, and as in John's Gospel stated "It is finished". 

"It is finished" refers to the Work His Father had given Him to undertake in the flesh, and as Jesus stated on more than one occasion, He came "Only to the lost sheep of Israel", that was His then mission!  He stated at His last supper with His disciples, that His Body and Blood were represented in the wine and the bread, and that the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 was the completed work at that stage.  He was referring to the Jewish rehabilitation in the New Covenant of Jehovah's promise, which they refused, via the Sanhedrin! 

As it had been in the Old Testament, Jehovah's expressed wish to reside with His chosen people, but because of sin (in Adam) and sinning (fallen nature and self-will), He could only be approached by the people vicariously through the High Priest.  When the Priest entered the Holy of Holies, after ritual cleansing through the blood of sacrificed animals etc., he wore special garb to indicate his representation of the Nation of Israel.  Two prominent features of his priestly garb were the frontlet worn above the eyes on the forehead, with the statement "Holy to the Lord (Jehovah)".  A further prominent feature was the wearing of 12 precious stones over the chest (heart) area, representing each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  The whole Nation was therefore seen as Holy to the Lord, due to the High Priestly function. 

This performance by the Jewish Priesthood was initially performed under the auspices of Moses and Aaron in the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai wilderness.  At that time the Temple/Tabernacle was a movable object (tent) of 30 cubits in length and 10 cubits in breadth and height, to accommodate the frequent movement of the 12 Tribes in the desert.  The internal layout was two areas, the first called the Holy Place, and the second the Most Holy Place.  The two were divided by a Curtain/Veil of very rich cloth covered with plates of gold (see: Exodus).  When Israel eventually entered their Promised land and under king David secured Jerusalem, his son Solomon built the first of the Temples of Jehovah and the Holy and Most Holy places were copied in the new building.  

The foregoing shows that up to the time of the first advent of Jesus Christ on Earth, the only Nation that Jehovah had dealings with were His chosen people the Jews, but that all His dealing with them could only be vicarious, due to the sin problem as described above.  The solution to "sin" and to the problem of the vicarious relating with His people Israel, was shown and stated by Jesus in His sayings and comments prior to his execution, to be negated and removed in His own Body on the Cross of Calvary.  When on the cross He stated "It is finished" the renting of the Veil in the Holy of Holies indicated that the screening was removed and that Christ Jesus had become the Sacrifice acceptable to Jehovah God, to remove the dividing Veil, and allow direct access by the Jews to their Jehovah. 

As Acts 28:28 clearly shows, the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah, and also therefore at the present time the great Sacrifice that He made.  When reading the Acts of the Apostles it is clear that although the Jews had been instrumental via the Romans, in the death of Jesus, that Jehovah God still reached out to them via the Apostles and particularly by Paul, and that was due to Jesus' prayer on the cross for them "Father forgive them, they know not what they do", (Luke 23:34).  

It is clear from the early part of Acts, that the Jews are envisaged as the object of the Apostles endeavours, but much to the horror of Peter, he is shown by the Lord that the Gentiles were also to be brought into catchment.  Because of the rigidity of the Jewish system, particularly the way it had been developed by the Pharisees, the Almighty undoubtedly allowed for a transition period from the strict Jewish code (for the Jews and their conscience), and to allow also for the new freedom in Christ which the Gentile converts would accept.  Paul in his latter letters clearly shows that "all things are possible and permissible in Christ, but not all things are expedient", the over-riding object in these writings was to draw together the many different frames of mind of Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:14-18), into what was now proclaimed to be the "Body of Christ", which was defined by Paul in Ephesians as being open to all races of peoples and not just Jews. 

Up to Acts 28:28, the Jews were ‘prime object’ in the Plan of Salvation of Jehovah.  After Acts 28:28 the Gentiles are ‘prime object’, and therefore the majority of Christians are Gentiles with a smattering of Jews.

Pre. Acts 28:28 can be defined as the ‘Age of the Jews’, and post Acts 28:28 defined as the ‘Age of the Gentiles, which is still current’! 

The Lord therefore entered into the rent Veil the Holy of Holies as the Great High Priest for the Jewish Nation "in the order of Melchizedek", (Heb. 5:5-10, 6:20 & 7:17-21).  Because of the Nation of Israel's rejection of Jesus as Messiah at Acts 28:28, the offer as stated is now open to all peoples who take Him on trust up to the end of this present Dispensation, and those people would be seen by the Almighty through Christ as Holy. 

The renting of the Veil at the same time as our Lord uttered his final words and gave up His Spirit to the Father, indicates the beginning of the end of the Jewish Old Covenant.  The fact that the Jewish Priesthood attempted to repair the Veil and continue the old form of ritual, (against God’s wishes), is a strong indication of their lack of knowledge of the Old Testament, their rejection of Jesus as Christ, and the rigid hold of the Pharisaic teaching.  However, as we know from Acts 28-28 the Jews were at that stage specifically rejected by God and became "Not My people", and shortly after their Temple and city were destroyed in AD 69-70.  It is a fact both apparent today and prophetically foretold, that there is "a Veil over their understanding", so that much of the Body of Christ that has been gathering together over the last 2 millennia are made up primarily of Gentiles.

See:  Millennial Purpose


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