March 30: Good Friday
Way, way back in the book of Exodus, God gave Moses instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, a traveling house of worship for the Israelites. That model was transformed into a more permanent structure by King Solomon. And finally, after Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by Babylonian invaders, it was rebuilt on a less grand scale. But no matter who built it or how it was added to later, all three structures carried some common elements. And perhaps one of the most important was the veil.
The veil was a floor to ceiling curtain – actually, several layers of curtain – heavily embroidered and always kept closed. It separated the Holy Place, where the priests kept candles lit and incense burning, from the Most Holy Place, where the Ark of the Covenant resided. The Ark represented God Himself. And He made it very clear from the beginning that it was truly THE Most Holy Place with very limited access. Only one time a year was anyone allowed there – and that had to be the High Priest, carrying the blood of the Atonement Offering. If he entered unworthily or at the wrong time, the punishment was instant death. This was not because God was capricious or uncaring. It was simply because God is completely holy. Completely sacred. Completely perfect. And completely “other”.
Many miraculous things happened on the day Jesus died. But perhaps the most compelling is that the veil of the temple ripped in two. At the moment Jesus died, it ripped from top to bottom. In other words, no human hand tore it. Instead, the hand of God Himself broke the divider that separated us from His holiness. It was no longer needed! Jesus, the Lamb of God, had made the final atoning sacrifice. And because of that, we can have friendship with God. Without a human priest. Without killing a lamb. Without keeping the law. Simply by His grace, extended at Calvary. When God sees a Christ-follower, He does not check that person’s righteousness against His own. Instead, He sees that person – you – as covered by Jesus’ righteousness. No veil needed. No separation ever again. “IT IS FINISHED!”, making it a very Good Friday, indeed!
Adoration: Pray back to God Ephesians 2:13-14a (AMP): “But now [at this very moment] in Christ Jesus you who once were [so very] far away [from God] have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace and our bond of unity.”
Confession: Confess to God any place where you have not allowed Him full access to your life. Ask Him to help you to walk in a different way.
Thanksgiving: Give thanks for all the places where He has torn down the dividing wall of hostility in your own life.
Supplication: Continue to pray for the church services on Easter Sunday. Pray that people who are on the fence about coming will be motivated to be here. Pray that our church would be a welcoming, engaging, loving place to all who walk through our doors.