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Gospel of Luke   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Genesis 3:8–10 ESV
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
Genesis 3:8
Genesis 3:22–24 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
PRAY
Luke 23:44–46 ESV
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

A Historical Sign

And the curtain of the temple was torn in two - To what curtain does Luke refer? There were at least There were at minimum thirteen curtains in the temple, however this is a reference to THE curtain of the temple. The curtain identified by Luke is the curtain to the Holy of Holies.
Josephus describe the curtain in Herod’s Temple:

“This house, as it was divided into two parts, the inner part was lower than the appearance of the outer, and had golden doors of 55 cubits altitude, and 16 in breadth. But before these doors there was a veil of equal size as the doors. It was a Babylonian curtain; embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of texture that was truly wonderful. Nor was this mixture of colors without its mystical interpretation. For by the scarlet there seemed to be enigmatically signified fire, by the fine flax the earth, by the blue the air, and by the purple the sea; two of them having their colors the foundation of this resemblance; but the fine flax and the purple have their own origin for that foundation, the earth producing the one, and the sea the other. This curtain had also embroidered upon it all that was mystical in the heavens, excepting that of the (twelve) signs (of the zodiac) representing living creatures.” The thickness of the curtain corresponded with its great size, and its strength was according.

This place was where the high priest only went into once every year on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). At this time, very quickly, the high priest would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat. Just as the priest are beginning to offer the lambs in celebration of the Passover, the veil is rent or torn in two.
Matthew
Matthew 27:51–53 ESV
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Mark 15:38 ESV
And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
The language is plain here. God miraculously rips the curtain in two. Similar to the darkness at midday, this makes a statement concerning what Jesus is accomplishing on the cross.

Holy Separation

Before we look closer at at Jesus accomplished, let’s review the purpose of the curtain in the temple.
Exodus 26:33 ESV
And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy.
Why does there need to be separation between God and man?
Exodus 33:19–23 ESV
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
Exodus 33:19–23 ESV
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
Leviticus 10:1–3 ESV
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’ ” And Aaron held his peace.
The prohibitive function of the veil — conveyed implicitly and explicitly in the Old Testament — underscores the restrictions placed upon Israelite worship based on the holiness of God. This is important because worshipers in the old covenant were restricted in their access to God in the temple, and could approach him only through sacrifice and prayer, and not at any time they chose. Only a high priest who was ritually pure and without defect could approach Yahweh without being put to death. The severity of this punishment primarily concerned the holiness of God himself and the sanctity of objects directly related to worshiping him.

Heavenly Access

The rending of the curtain in the temple signified several realities.
Jesus will judge the nation of Israel for their unbelief.
Jesus is the final and true sacrifice for sin.
Jesus is the true Temple of of God.
Jesus is the Great High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Hebrews 10:19–23 ESV
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:19-

Practical Application

If God consumed others for not approaching him in the proper way, will he spare you if you reject his Son?
Hebrews 10:26–31 ESV
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26-3
Children of God, we have blessed access to God through Jesus. Enjoy God, delight in God, love God, know God, pursue God, obey God, live in the newness and the liveliness of the new and living way. He is Jesus.
Hebrews 4:14–16 ESV
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
You are the perfect and righteous God Whose presence bears no sin You bid me come to Your holy place How can I enter in When Your presence bears no sin? Through Him, who poured out His life for me The atoning Lamb of God Through Him, and His work alone I boldly come
I come by the blood, I come by the cross Where Your mercy flows From hands pierced for me For I dare not stand on my righteousness My every hope rests on what Christ has done And I come by the blood
1 You are the perfect and righteous God Whose presence bears no sin You bid me come to Your holy place How can I enter in When Your presence bears no sin? Through Him, who poured out His life for me The atoning Lamb of God Through Him, and His work alone I boldly come I come by the blood, I come by the cross Where Your mercy flows From hands pierced for me For I dare not stand on my righteousness My every hope rests on what Christ has done And I come by the blood
You are the high and exalted King The One the angels fear So far above me in every way Lord, how can I draw near To the One the angels fear? Through Him who laid down His life for me And ascended to Your side Through Him, through Jesus alone I boldly come
I come by the blood, I come by the cross Where Your mercy flows From hands pierced for me For I dare not stand on my righteousness
My every hope rests on what Christ has done And I come by the blood
Josephus describe the curtain in Herod’s Temple:

“This house, as it was divided into two parts, the inner part was lower than the appearance of the outer, and had golden doors of 55 cubits altitude, and 16 in breadth. But before these doors there was a veil of equal size as the doors. It was a Babylonian curtain; embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of texture that was truly wonderful. Nor was this mixture of colors without its mystical interpretation. For by the scarlet there seemed to be enigmatically signified fire, by the fine flax the earth, by the blue the air, and by the purple the sea; two of them having their colors the foundation of this resemblance; but the fine flax and the purple have their own origin for that foundation, the earth producing the one, and the sea the other. This curtain had also embroidered upon it all that was mystical in the heavens, excepting that of the (twelve) signs (of the zodiac) representing living creatures.” The thickness of the curtain corresponded with its great size, and its strength was according.

This place was where the high priest only went into once every year on the Day of Atonement. At this time, very quickly, the high priest would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat. Just as the priest are beginning to offer the lambs in celebration of the Passover, the veil is rent or torn in two.
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