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Exodus 26:31-33; Matthew 27:51
THE MESSAGE IN THE VEIL
Intro: Referring to the Bible Augustine, said “The New is in the Old concealed. The Old is in the New revealed. He is speaking about the fact that many items and people in the Old Testament serve to point ahead to things more clearly revealed in the New Testament. This was the idea in Pauls mind when he said, Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Cor. 10:11.
Many objects in the Old Testament point ahead to truths more fully revealed in the New Testament. For instance, we know that the Brazen Serpent of Numbers 21 was a type of the Lord Jesus, John 3:14. We also know that the Manna of Exodus 16 was also a type or a picture of Jesus Christ, John 6:31-35. There are many more example which are too numerous to name, but I think you get the point.
Of all the types in the Old Testament, none is more rich in its symbolism than the Tabernacle. From one end to the other, the Tabernacle is a picture of the Lord Jesus and of the redemption believers enjoy in Him. That ancient structure, that measured 45 feet long by 15 feet wide by 15 feet high, is an amazing portrait of God’s grace, His salvation and His efforts to redeem a fallen race of people. Inside the Tabernacle were two rooms, the holy place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place measured 30 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube of 15 feet wide, high and deep. Between these two rooms stood the veil that is the subject of our text today.
The veil that hung in the ancient Tabernacle of Israel contains a great message for those who will take the time to study it. This veil is a wonderful picture of Jesus Christ. In fact, it is specifically a picture of Jesus and His work while He was here in His flesh. Ill. Heb. 10:20, “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh,
With that in mind, let’s spend some time looking at the veil and what it represents.
I. V. 31-33a THE PATTERN OF THE VEIL
A. The Colors Used In The Veil - Often, colors in the Bible are symbolic in nature. The colors used in the veil of the Tabernacle are no exception. These colors paint a portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ and of Who He is.
1. Blue - Blue is the color of the sky and it reminds us of the Heavenly origin of the Lord Jesus. He is the Son of God - Rom. 8:3; 1 Tim.. 3:16.
2. Purple - Purple is the color of royalty and it reminds us that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, Isa. 9:6-7; Rev. 19:16.
3. Scarlet - Scarlet is the color of blood and it speaks of Jesus as the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of man, Rev. 1:5; John 15:13.
B. The Cloth Used In The Veil - Pure, white linen was the cloth that was to be used. This speaks of the purity of the Lord Jesus. It reminds us that He was sinless - 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 Cor. 5:21. (Ill. His temptation, Matt. 4; Heb. 4:15.)
C. The Construction Used In The Veil - Notice that this cloth was to be “fine twined and of a cunning work.” This tells us that the cloth used was to be of a special weave. It would be different from any other cloth. So it is with Jesus! There has never been another man like Him! In His person, He was the perfect blend of Deity and humanity. He is the God-Man! (Ill. The Hypostatic Union) He is unique for He is God in the flesh, John 1:1; 14; Phil. 2:5-8.
I. The Pattern Of The Veil
II. V. 31-33 THE PURPOSE OF THE VEIL
A. It Served As A Warning - This veil was hung between the holy place, where the priests ministered everyday, and the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God dwelt above the Mercy Seat, Ex. 25:17-22. The vail served as a barrier between holy God and sinful man.
They were told to embroider the veil with “cherubims on it. The cherubim are angelic creatures that serve as the guardians of the holiness of God. They are first seen in Gen. 3:24, when they were positioned at the entrance of Eden to prevent man from gaining access to the tree of life. Rev. 4:6-8 may be a physical description of these heavenly creatures.
The presence of the cherubim on the veil warned all who entered the Tabernacle that they could come this far and no farther! They were a constant reminder that access to God was forbidden. God is holy and man a sinner. The cherubim were placed there to warn all who approached the veil that to continue was to invite judgment and death! They reminded all that a holy God dwelled just behind the veil.
Ill. What grace that God would warn men not to come into His presence in their sinful condition! The cherubim were there to warn man, but they also served to protect men and to preserve life.
B. It Served As A Wall - This veil served as a barrier between God and man. It shut man out of the presence of God, Lev. 16:2, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
Ill. Between the sinner and God, there is a great wall standing, Isa. 59:2. We cannot, and will not, approach God by ourselves. To do so would invite judgment and death. Before man can enter into the presence of God, sin must first be dealt with.
C. It Served As A Way - On the Day of Atonement, the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies, but only with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. Lev. 16:15, “Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: On that day, the high priest was allowed to go behind the vail and minister in the Holy of Holies, sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice on the altar and atoning for the sins of the people. It was the only time any one was allowed behind the veil. To go at any other time, for any other purpose, in any other manner was to invite instant death.
Blood in the only way anyone has access into the presence of God, Heb. 9:22. (Ill. How the blood of the atonement must have been layered higher and higher on the mercy seat.) Now, God does not accept the blood of animals; He only accepts the blood of His Son, Heb. 10:11-14; Heb. 9:1-14.
Bloodless, Christ-less religion will never save the human soul! Those who try to get to God without the blood of Jesus will find themselves in Hell, because there is no other method God will accept. To enter into His presence, you must be born again, John 3:3; 7. And, the only way to be born again is through the blood of the Lamb, 1 Pet. 1:18-19. Thank God, Jesus made the way for us to enter into the presence of God by going to the cross for our sins!
D. It Served As A Witness - While the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies one each year, the priests ministered in the holy place every day of the year. As they did, they came within inches of the veil, but were never allowed to go past it. It was a constant reminder to them that they were sinners and that they were separated from God. It was constant reminder of man’s moral failure.
Ill. So it is with the ministry of Jesus in the flesh. There are a lot of people who try to copy the life Jesus lived in an effort to secure their salvation. However, what men fail to realize is that the life of Christ cannot save! In fact, the life of Christ serves to condemn us all! He lived a perfect life and never once sinned against His Father or the Law. He did what you and I could never do: He lived a perfect life without sin! Ill. John 15:22. He is the “glory of God that all of us have fallen short of, Rom. 3:23!
Ill. In the final analysis, the veil serves to remind man that he is a sinner in need of Savior and that he will never be able to approach God on his own merits.
For hundreds of years thousands of priests went in and out of the holy place on a daily basis. They all saw the vail, but they were forbidden to go past it. For those same hundreds of years, hundreds of high priests went behind that vail on the Day of Atonement to offer the blood of the atonement on the mercy seat. They went behind the vail, but only with the blood of an innocent sacrifice having first been shed for their sins. When they went in, they went in with a censor filled with burning incense to smoke up the room lest they see the glory of God and die. This continues day after day, and year after year, for the life of the Tabernacle. Later, when the Temple was built by Solomon, the same rituals continued there for hundreds of years more. One day, that all ended!
I. The Pattern Of The Veil
II. The Purpose Of The Veil
III. Mt. 27:51 THE PARTING OF THE VEIL
A. The Method Of Its Parting - Notice that it was God and not man that parted the veil. While the priests were offering the evening sacrifice, Mark 15:34, Jesus was offering His life as a ransom for sin. When the Innocent One died for the guilty ones, the veil split from the top to the bottom. Man had nothing to do with it, it was the work of God alone!
Ill. The same is true with the salvation we enjoy this evening! We had nothing to do with it at all. It originated with God in Heaven before the world was formed, Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:20. It was carried out at Calvary without our help, Isa. 53:6, 10, Ill. The brutal death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation was and is the work of a sovereign God!
B. The Message Of Its Parting - The message of the rent veil is crystal clear; it tells us that the way to God is open. I can imagine the priests in the temple sewing the parted veil back together and continuing on in their vain religion, not realizing that now, the way to God was opened to all. Not just one day per year, but all the time! Ill. Eph. 2:11-18! Remember Heb. 10:20, “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”
C. The Majesty Of Its Parting - The moment Jesus died, that massive veil, which was so thick it was said that a team of horses could not tear it apart, ripped down the middle, as if a great sword had sliced it in two. That rent veil signaled the end of the Jewish sacrificial system. That rent veil proclaimed that the way to God was open for all who would come to Him. That rent veil means that whosoever will can come to Jesus and be saved by the grace of God. That rent veil means the way to God is open and all who will can come, Rev. 22:17; John 3:16; Rom. 10:13. “Whosoever will can come into His presence and have access to God Himself! I praise the Lord that the way to God has been forever opened for you and me!
Conc: When the high priest entered behind the veil, he came into the very presence of God Himself. He offered the blood and had to leave. He was not allowed back in until the next year. He could never come before God without blood and he could not come when he wanted to, but only when God allowed.
When Jesus came in the flesh and gave His life for you and me, He forever tore down that middle wall of partition. He broke down all the barriers that stood between us and free access to the Father.
Now, in Jesus, we can come before OUR Father at anytime! What a glorious privilege is our! And, it is given to us because Jesus became the veil and was rent on Calvary so that we might get to God! Bless His Name!