Reflections: Thursday of the Second-Last Week

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. (Matthew 27:50–51)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Old Testament Divine Service the only way to enter into God’s presence was within the tabernacle. The tabernacle was divided into two parts: the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. Only the priests could enter the Holy Place and only a High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and then just once a year. 

These two Holy places were separated by a thick veil. Early Jewish writings describe the veil of the temple as being four inches thick, and it took up to 300 priests to move it. The temple curtain was a preaching that the only access to God was through the mediation of the High Priest and the blood of bulls and goats. 

The death of Jesus marked the end of the sacrificial system and the need for the temple curtain. In the death of Jesus, and by His blood, a new and living way to God’s holy presence has been opened for the whole world. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23). 

We have this access to God through our Baptism in Christ, the washing of our evil conscience with pure water. Each time we receive His Word of Absolution, hear the preaching of His Gospel, and feast on His Body and Blood, we are joined with Jesus in the heavenly places. This is the gift Jesus wins for us by His death on the Cross. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

In ev’ry time of need, Before the judgment throne, Thy work, O Lamb of God, I’ll plead,
Thy merits, not my own. Amen. (“O Perfect Life of Love” LSB 452, st.6)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch