Life Beyond the Curtain


In modern times, curtains play an important role in our lives. Curtains are used as an accessory in decorating one’s home. People use them to pull out or accentuate their color schemes. Also, curtains play a vital utilitarian role. When my brother lived in Alaska, he shared with me that many people purchased extra-thick curtains with liners to help block out the light during the time of the year that light shone for almost 24 hours. We all know that curtains are used for privacy. They are intended to keep those on the outside out, from peering into our lives seeing what only those on the inside were privy.

In Mark 15 after Jesus’ death, we see a change in the role of the temple curtain. We see a Life Beyond the Curtain.

Mark 15

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

In the Old Testament before the temple was built, the Israelites were nomadic. They lived in temporary housing like tents. Since God selected them as His chosen people, God provided instructions on how the priests, only select ones, could meet with Him. God would meet with them in the tent of the congregation or the tent of meeting. It is also called the tabernacle. Whether congregation, meeting, tabernacle or temple, all signified a place of God’s dwelling and dwelling among His people. It was the place where a few priest could go in at select times of the year to meet with God. In those places, the curtain was instrumental in separating spaces and articles of importance like the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was the most important symbol of the Jewish faith, and served as the only physical manifestation of God on earth. The Ark contained most notably the Ten Commandments. I say all this to say that there were curtains in the tent that shielded the Ark. It separated God’s presence from man. During that time, man did not live a Life Beyond the Curtain. He was separated from the full presence of God.

Without going too much further, you should know that the curtain separated almost all the Israelites from God. When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The fact that it started at the top reveals that God initiated the tearing. The significance is that God, through Christ’s death, was now inviting all man to have an intimate personal relationship with Him. God was inviting man to live Life Beyond the Curtain. Through Christ, there would be no more separation from God. Man could enter into the most holiest place, the presence of God, through Jesus. Before, only a select few priest could do that only at certain times of year. Now, as 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 states, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.” God conveys that as one surrenders his/her life to Jesus that the Spirit of God comes into him/her and dwells in them which is the true meaning of Life Beyond the Curtain.

Earlier in Mark 15, the text says “29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” “The temple that Jesus spoke of raising in three days was his body. We know He did rise from the grave. Now, as then, He invites us to live a Life Beyond the Curtain.

God, through Christ Jesus, is inviting you to live Life Beyond the Curtain. God desires to have an intimate personal relationship with you, but you must accept and respond to His invitation of an intimate personal relationship. There will come a day when God will separate the sheep, those who know Him personally, from the goats, those who do not know Him personally. That separation will be eternal.

Matthew 31-34,41

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world….41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

The Centurion soldier saw Jesus’ death and no longer experienced a life of separation. He symbolizes that God was offering salvation to all. He offers it to you. Live Life Beyond the Curtain. Follow Jesus now!

 

 

 

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