Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.”

Matthew 27: 50-52 (NIV)

Outside my upstairs window it is a beautiful morning.

The morning following what we recognized yesterday in the Christian church as Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday, of course, is that day which marks the entry of Christ into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, and the beginning of that last week of Christ’s life here among us on earth.

The last week, appropriately referred to as Passion Week, of Christ’s mission and ministry among us.

A week in which He was unfairly judged, wrongly condemned, harshly whipped and ridiculed and eventually horrifyingly crucified on a hill called Calvary.

And it is also a beautiful morning as the sun is shining, with a light breeze cool air blowing through the trees.

In a few days, on Friday of this week, we will pause to remember a moment that seemed less than beautiful, where over two thousand years ago the sky darkened and the air turned cold as Christ hung on the cross at Calvary bleeding, dying and forgiving, all while breathing His last breaths on this planet for you and for me.

It’s the day we call Good Friday, marked by the fulfilment of numerous prophecies from hundreds of years earlier, in moment after moment of that week leading up to and through Christ’s crucifixion and death.

The writers of the four Gospels note many things which occurred during that Passion Week and on that remarkably breathless Good Friday, including what have been noted as the seven last words of Christ. But arguably nothing they witnessed and recorded is more poignant or relevant to our lives today than that scripture verse which is set out above.

As the passage states, as Christ cried out and breathed His last, the writers of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all wrote that…

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

Matthew 27: 51a (NIV)

Traditionally in the temple, there were two curtains hanging which were separating three main parts of the temple—the outer courts, the holy place where only the priests could enter, and the most holy place, reserved for only God Himself. It is most likely that the curtain referred to in that verse as being torn in two, was the curtain hanging between the holy place and the most holy place—also called the Holy of Holies.

The Holy of Holies was the place within the temple where the Jews believed they could not go—as being sinful and undeserving—as it would lead into the presence of a holy God. Only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies, and only once a year to carry a sacrifice on behalf of the entire Israelite nation, and seeking forgiveness for each person within that nation.

But now through the death of Christ on the Cross for each of them, and us, we can enter into the presence of God—directly into the Holy of Holies so to speak. Now, with the tearing of that curtain—through and only through what Christ just did for us on the Cross—it opened the way for each of us to have direct access to a holy and loving God.

Think about that for a moment—no longer does anyone have to be called upon to intervene for us before God. Christ has done that—and because of that we can approach our God directly.

Now, no one is required to ask God for the forgiveness of our shortcomings—our sins. Christ has done that for us, and because of that we approach God ourselves, confess our shortcomings and mistakes, receive His forgiveness, and press on into a brand new day with Him.

Through what Christ did for us on the Cross, no one needs to dial up God for us, or to speak for us before a Holy God. We can each dial Him up directly. Christ has done that for us and continues to intercede on our behalf—with our heavenly Father. And we are able to approach God directly with our thanks, our concerns, our frustration and questions, as well as with our requests.

Pretty amazing moment—

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

Pretty amazing God!

A God who loves you, and a God who loves me.

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.