by Jeannie De Groot
Someone once said to me, “I wonder what grace sounds like.” I have never imagined that ‘grace’ might have a sound.
Perhaps it does.
In Jesus’ day the Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the Temple by a very thick veil. Behind it was the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizing the presence of Almighty God. Just once a year the High Priest entered through the veil, sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people The veil was a very vivid reminder of the barrier between Holy God and sinful man.
Woven together with colored yarn and twisted linen, it was approximately 60 feet high, 30 feet wide and 4 inches thick. It was said that horses tied to each side of the veil would not be able to pull it apart! Yet we read that at the moment of Jesus’ death, when He breathed His last, the veil was torn in two from top to bottom.
The book of Hebrews tells us that now we too can enter into the Holy of Holies “…by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the veil, that is His body…” (Hebrews 10:19, 20)
The Temple veil being torn in two when Jesus breathed His last is a picture of the access we now have been granted to the Father through the shed blood of His Son. What a joyous and triumphant occasion for us!
What must it have been like for God the Father to watch His Son die?
Did you know that the Rabbis in Jesus’ day referred to the Temple veil as the ‘tunic of God’?
Did you know that a Jew in deep mourning would tear his garments as a symbol of his great pain?
Did God, in deep mourning and agony over the death of His child, cry out and rip His tunic, the Temple veil?
What must it have sounded like across the heavens at that moment when Jesus died? At that moment when God ripped the veil in two from top to bottom?
O, how the lament of the Father must have howled and thundered across the creation.
So much so that it shook to its very foundations… the sun was darkened… the earth quaked… the rocks split… the graves opened…
What must His pain have been like to witness the death of His Son on the Cross for the sins of the world?
In the Talmud it states that if one person is present when another ‘breathes his last’, that person must tear his tunic in mourning. “One who stands near the dying, at the time when he breathes his last, he is duty bound to rend his tunic.” (Bava Meitza 25a)
“And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed His last. Then the veil was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:37, 38)
The sound of grace…