Friday, 22 April 2011

The Veil of the Temple

This part of Good Friday has always been one which deeply affected me.

When I was a child we went to some of the three hour liturgy at the cross on Good Friday, normally the last hour. One year as we were leaving church the earth appeared split in two, there was a massive thunderstorm and the sky went very dark. It felt so dramatic and symbolic, and was one of my earliest memories of a physical presence of God with us. I was about 8 years old.

This has stayed with me to this day, and although there have been other occasions when the sky has turned grey on Good Friday, none have stayed in my mind as clearly as that time in childhood. I put the washing on the line this morning and despite the blue sky interspersed with white fluffy clouds, I wondered whether my washing would get wet at 3pm!

The veil of the temple torn, and the guard realising Jesus as Son of God are such powerful images. God himself is no longer hidden behind the curtain, only to be accessed by the High Priest. God is accessible to all who put their trust in Him. Also, the way one accesses the Lord God, has been opened up, no longer are the old rituals the way to Him.

I have blogged about how much God loves us, and how much I have renewed my love for Him this Holy Week, this image for me is one of God's power. Christ died and even before his glorious victory, he had opened the way to God the Father. At the moment of death, when Jesus was weakest, God torn down the temple veil.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I have passed the riven veil,
Where the glories never fail,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I am living in the presence of the King
(Charles P. Jones in Songs of Pentecostal Power)

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