On a recent cold, snowy morning, I opened our kitchen curtains expecting to see a bleak and dreary scene.  Instead I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever witnessed, the curtains gave us privacy and darkness, but also concealed a gift from God that stretched from north to south in a brilliant red hue.  Curtains come in many forms and sizes and perform several functions.  They can be decorative to enhance the looks of a room or dark to allow someone to sleep better.  A stage curtain is used to begin or end a performance.  The Iron Curtain was a figurative phrase to indicate the barrier to exchange of information and ideas as was the situation between the Soviet Union and the Western World.  In slang in the plural it can mean death by violence.

In God’s instructions to Moses, there were to be curtains in the Tabernacle made of, “finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn…” (Ex 26:1 & 31).  They were used to separate the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (v 33).  Only the High Priest could enter the Most Holy Place once every year with blood not his own (animals) (Heb 9:25).  This room was called God’s throne room and the curtain was called the “shielding curtain” to indicate God’s separation from the profane and sinful things (Isa 59:2).

In the New Testament gospels we discover that this curtain has been torn in two at the death of Jesus Christ (Mt 27:51) (Mk 15:38) (Lk 23:45).  Hope now allows us to “enter the inner sanctuary where Jesus who went before us, has entered on our behalf” (Heb 6:19).  “Therefore brothers, we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body (Heb 10:19-20).  The fact that it was torn in two from top to bottom seems to say that God the Father did it to allow sinners to boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence because our High Priest, Jesus Christ, the Son of God loved us so much (Heb 4:14-16).

-Jim Bailey