Read: Matthew 26:57-65 and 27:50-51
It’s Passover. Caiaphas the High Priest, and the chief priests and elders, bring Jesus before Caiaphas seeking to put Him to death. It’s late at night, the false witnesses came through – Caiaphas knew they were after an innocent man. Maybe he even saw the miracles Jesus performed. Finally, two false witnesses bring something to the table that’s a viable lead.
Caiaphas questions Jesus.
And like verse 65 says, Caiaphas rents his clothes and cries out, “What further need have we of witnesses? Behold, ye have heard his blasphemy.”
The next morning, Jesus is led away to be crucified. At 9:00 AM, Jesus and two thieves are hanging on three crosses outside of town. It’s over.
Until 3:00 PM…
It’s time for the evening sacrifice. At three o’clock in the afternoon, a lamb is sacrificed. At that exact moment, the veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies from the people – was torn in two.
I can only imagine what Caiaphas was thinking at that moment. No one was allowed in the Holy of Holies except him. And even he was only allowed in once a year on the Day of Atonement. Have you ever wondered what happened at the temple when the veil was torn? Did people panic? Did anyone make a connection that when the perfect Son of God died, a way was made into the very presence of God for all people?
As we head into Easter week, consider this: God never intended our salvation to be based on something we have done, and, our love for God can’t be measured by outward actions.
As we see in the verses below, God is searching for a heart that’s true to Him. It’s easy to show an outward action and have no true inner change. But in the verses below, we see God calling us to something deeper.
Let’s take a look…
“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” – Hosea 6:6
“Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…” – Joel 2:13
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:15
This week, as Easter approaches, let’s meditate on what it means to receive this love from God. It’s easy to go through the motions…to sing the songs, listen to the message and walk away unchanged, saying, “That was a good service.” Let’s go beyond that this year. Let’s allow our hearts to be overcome by the mercy and love that tore the veil so we could approach the heavenly Father.
He rent the veil for us – let’s rent our hearts for Him.