H – Highlight
Mark 15:38 –And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
E – Explain
At the moment of Jesus’ death, the Lord, as a glorious sign, tore the veil of the temple in two. Theologically, I believe that this shows us that the sacrificial system is fully ended once and for all.
A – Apply
That Jesus finished the work is evident from his declaration, “It is finished,” from the tearing of the veil, and from his resurrection from the dead. The entire plan and purpose of the Old Testament law is fulfilled in Christ.
One application is that we ought to be wise enough not to attempt to return to a required obedience to Old Testament ceremonial law (cf. Gal. 5:2-4). The feast, Sabbaths, sacrifices, and such things are pointers to the work Christ finished. We dishonor Christ if we attempt to put the temple veil back together and bind ourselves to Old Testament regulations. This is not to say that the law is not a wonderful tool to show us God’s character and his standards for justice and righteousness. But we are not to return to the old temple or its trappings.
Another application is that we cannot do anything, not a single thing, to atone for our own sin. The concept is made plain when God destroyed the veil between the holy of holies and the rest of the world at Jesus’ death. When we sin, sometimes we are tempted to attempt to make up for what we have done through acts of penance. This is not acceptable. In fact, this practice dishonors the Lord and his sacrifice. We obey out of love for the Lord and the joy of his glory. We do not obey to change our position before the Lord, to climb a ladder into his favor.
R – Response
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you that your sacrificial work is fully complete. I pray that you will help me remember that there is no single thing that I can do that would make me climb into your favor. Instead, I pray that you will help me to obey for the sheer joy of knowing you and honoring your holy name. I pray that you will help me love you and love others as you command, not from obligation of law but from joy of grace.