The Veil

My subject this morning is the veil, which divided the Most Holy Place and Holy place portions of the tabernacle. One of the main reasons we meet each Sunday is to remember the death of Jesus and his resurrection.
These events are symbolized in the veil. As we know all of the tabernacle and its parts point toward Christ. I would like to describe the veil this morning.
The Hebrew for veil means "separation". The veil is described in Exodus 26:31-33, "And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of the cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver."
The veil was the screen between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The veil was made of the same material as the door screens and was embroidered with Cheri bums. The veil like the other hangings was suspended upon pillars.

We are told what the veil symbolized in Matthew 27:50-51, "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;" Paul says the following in Hebrews 10:20, "By a new and living way, which he that consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;"
The veil, then stands for the flesh, which Christ possessed in his days before his death and resurrection. The veil had to be torn asunder as a symbol so it might be possible for man to obtain immortality. By removing the veil as a division between the Most Holy Place and the Holy Place, the Most Holy Place, which represents God's presence, was made accessible by man.
It is because Christ rose from death that we have hope of eternal life or a hope of reaching the Most Holy Place. 1 Cor. 15:17-18 says, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
When Jesus died as an acceptable sacrifice, his flesh was torn. As we read in 1 Cor. 11:24, "And when he had given thanks, be brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you:" So his flesh was broken or torn for us. But he rose because he was sinless and because of the grace of his Father; thereafter, he went beyond the veil of the flesh to be clothed with immortality represented by the Most Holy Place.

In this sense he became a "forerunner". We read in Hebrews 6:19,20, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisdec." Having obtained eternal life, the existence of the forerunner means that there are after-runners. He has opened the way for us to the Most Holy Place.
As we read earlier in Hebrews 10:20, "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."
The veil was composed of many items. It was not a simple sheet of material. It was "blue, purple, and scarlet and fine twined linen of cunning work". By cunning it means complicated needlework.
It was embroidered with cherubic figures. Why was the material so complex? The veil did not stand for flesh only, but for the form of it that was provided by Christ. Many items were needed to point to a type of Christ. If it represented flesh only, it could have been a sheet of red material only. But it was much more complicated than that.
It was fine-twined linen. Linen always stands for righteousness. This is illustrated in the bridal array at the marriage supper of the Lamb, which we are told represented the righteousness of the saints. So we cannot have it much clearer than that.
We also see linen in the wedding garment. The lack of it caused the guest to be expelled from the marriage feast. We read in Matthew 22:11-12, "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless."
So the fact that this linen was fine-twined represents the perfect righteousness of Jesus. However, Jesus was still a mortal man and that is where the scarlet comes in. Scarlet always stood for sin in the Bible.
We read the following in Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
We read in Revelation 17:3, "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns."
The question arises as to how we can use this scarlet to describe the Son of God who was without sin. However, he was "made sin for us" as we read in 2 Cor. 5:21: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." He was made of a woman in the likeness of sinful flesh.
We read the following in Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."
We read the following in Romans 8:3, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."
Jesus was a righteous man who was still subject to the consequences of sin. He was the fine-twined linen and the scarlet. He was righteous, but he was born of sinful flesh.

Hebrews 2:14-17 explains in detail how sin represented by the scarlet was part of Christ: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people."

There remains the blue and the purple. The Bible does not say a lot about blueness, but we do see a possible explanation in Proverbs. Blueness in Proverbs is associated with healing.
We read the following in Proverbs 20:30, "The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly." This prophesied the result of Christ's work. "With his stripes we are healed."
There is another point about blue and what it represents. In Numbers15:38-41 we read, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring.

That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. The NIV reads, "you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments with a blue cord on each tassel."
These verses indicate that the ribband of blue would serve as a remembrance of all the commandments of God.

The one remaining item is the purple. Purple is always associated with royalty. John 19:5 says, "Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns and a purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man."

So all of the elements of the veil have been fulfilled in Jesus.

We read that Cherubim's were woven into or embroidered upon the veil. The use of Cherubims with the furnishings of the Tabernacle was the first time Cherubims were mentioned since the Garden of Eden. We know that two Cherubim were on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. They were fastened to the Mercy Seat (or lid of the ark), and, facing each other, stretched out their wings so as to form a screen over the Mercy Seat. Cheribum were woven into the inward curtain of the Tabernacle.
We read in Exodus 26:1, "Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims shall it be made."
The presence of the Cherubims revealed the presence of the glory of God. Yet the glory God being revealed springs from the suffering of Christ. The glory of God shone between the Cherubic wings on the Mercy seat.
The Mercy seat was also sprinkled with blood to represent the sacrifice of Christ. The Cherubims woven in the veil shows the manifestation of God through his son.

As we partake of the emblems this morning let us remember the death and resurrection of Christ. Also, let us remember how much of the Old Testament points towards Christ and his sacrifice. Without his sacrifice we would not have hope. The hope of having access to what is represented by the Most Holy Place or eternal life.
 

 

 

David Thomas Jr.


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