Revamped and reposted from my old blog.
Although I’d grown up hearing about the crucifixion and watching reenactments of Jesus’s death every Easter, my favorite part of the crucifixion is something I didn’t understand until my second or third year of college. (I’m not sure you’re supposed to have a favorite part of the crucifixion but I’m fallen and I do.)
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. – Matthew 27:51
For many years I kind of just skipped over the first part of that verse. Even though Matthew said, “And behold,” I always read it as, “Oh yeah, and if anyone cares…” But now this verse speaks to my soul because as part of my Bible minor from Cedarville University I learned a little something about the curtain of the temple. The temple was where Yahweh dwelled in pre-Jesus times. Before God put on skin and came down to Earth to walk around getting his hands dirty, He hung out in the temple. In those days people couldn’t exactly just waltz right into the temple for a chat with the Almighty. There were rituals and cloaks and priests and… a curtain (or veil, depending on your translation). This curtain in the temple separated the Old Testament God followers from Yahweh because they simply couldn’t handle His presence. This curtain was also a representation of the sin in our lives, the sin that demanded sacrifice and death, that kept us separate from God.
When God died, when that sacrifice was fulfilled, the curtain was torn in the temple. The curtain that separates us from God’s almighty, terrifying, bigger-than-we-can-imagine presence was torn in two. Now there is NOTHING that separates us from this great God. No curtain can hold us back anymore. Not even our death-deserving, gross, selfish sin can impede our access to a Holy, Loving, Righteous God.
Because of Jesus we are free! Free from rituals and cloaks and priests and slaughtered lambs. Free from sin that weighs us down so heavily we cannot move toward our Savior. We are free to be in relationship with the One who created us.
And behold! Praise God! The curtain in the temple was torn in two!! There is nothing separating me from Yahweh now and I can bask in His glory and rest in His security. I can worship at His throne and cry at His feet. I can confess my sins and be forgiven directly, immediately, and for forever with forgiveness and a pardon that comes from Justice Himself.
This is freedom.
And in this relationship with God there is no room for fear.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. – 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no more perfect love than that which was personified in Jesus, and specifically in Jesus as He hung on the cross bearing the weight of my screw-ups and selfishness, of your pride and insecurities. In that perfect love there is no room for fear. Fear is dead. Fear has been nailed to a cross and left there. The punishment has been handled.
We are free. I am free. You are free. Free to live a life free of fears. Free to live fearless.