"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."
On the death of Christ, the finale to Israel's hatred against Him and their rejection of God as revealed in Him, the rending of the temple veil robbed the ritualistic, ceremonial system of its importance. There was no longer anyone behind the veil. The Jewish House was left unto them desolate (Matt. 23:28). God was no longer there! "For God came forth to meet us then." The revelation was complete, being crowned by the crucifixion of the Revealer. The Jew was left with an empty house! the rending of the veil was the action of the hand of God, hence, we read — "From the top to the bottom." Two things, at least, were enacted in the death of our Lord: Judaism was set aside as effete: the way of approach to God, fully revealed in the Son, was opened to faith.
Hebrew 3:1, exhorts us to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus." As the Apostle He has come out to make God known: as the High Priest he has gone in to God in answer to the revelation He has made of God. Two things, at least, were involved in His coming out, His incarnation in grace; and the work of redemption. The creation of man necessitated Bethlehem; and the fall of man necessitated Calvary. So, the Word became flesh. His humanity was assumed with a view to His dying. His holy, impeccable life served to emphasise the distance into which the creature had been plunged by his sin against the Creator. That distance, bridged by the incarnation of the Son, has been judicially removed by His sacrificial death upon the cross. The will of God to bless was wrapped up in man and so He passed angels by, Hebrews 2:14-18. For "reconciliation" read "propitiation." He became man in order to take up man's case, and to bring him to God, for He had destined many sons for glory — see for this Hebrews 2:10.
Please turn to Hebrews 10:19-25. Believers now have boldness for entering the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The background to this is in Hebrews 9:7, 8, on the day of atonement "the high priest alone once a year, (entered) not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing." Obviously the way in is open since the death of Christ, "Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God" (Heb. 9:14). In contrast then with those under the first covenant, we go in through the blood of Christ. His death, having dealt with our sins to the entire satisfaction of God's holiness, has opened the way in.
Note, through "the new and living way, which He has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh" (Heb. 10:20). This may be aligned with John 1:14, where we learn that "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us . . full of grace and truth." We thus learn the truth of His having assumed the condition of humanity. Grace, by which He fully met all that in us which was contrary to the revelation of God, and truth which while fully disclosing God at the same time thoroughly exposed man. Grace took Him into death that through redemption the righteous basis should be laid whereon God, having been glorified, we could be invited to draw near (Heb. 10:22).
Thus was the way into the presence of God opened. Having, then, availed ourselves of the blessed access which His once-for-all death has afforded, we enter there through the newly slain way. In man's calendar it is nigh two thousand years since Jesus died, but in the reckoning of heaven it is as though He had just died — "the recently slain way." This is a "living way," for He Who died to gain an access there for us is no longer dead, for He lives in abiding Manhood. And we draw near "through the veil," which He has dedicated or us, "that is to say, His flesh." The way in for men is open now, in that He is there in glorified and, as we have said, in abiding Manhood. So, we go in through the veil.
"He lives a Man before Thee,
In cloudless light above,
In thine unbounded favour —
Thine everlasting love."
In Tabernacle days the veil dividing the most holy from the holy place was embroidered with cherubim, emblematic of the fact that none could enter there except they were in accord with the righteous character of God, Who dwelt between the cherubim on the mercy seat.
This formed a barrier to all that was contrary to God, and so today the veil remains, welcoming all who are in accord with the God Who dwells there, while at the same time reminding us that all which is of the flesh is excluded. "And having an High Priest over the house of God; Let us draw near." Thank God, the distance has been removed — the death of Christ has once and for all removed it — and the word is, "Let us draw hear with a true heart."
Hearts affected by the truth that approach is commensurate with the revelation which has been made in the Son. "Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience," surely this involves being purged from dead works, Hebrews 9:14. Being once purged we have "no more conscience of sins" (Heb. 10:2). "And our bodies washed with pure water." Cleansing, judicial — sprinkled as to our hearts; moral — washed with the water of the Word. This is an appreciated fact, answering to the consecration of the priestly company in Leviticus 8.
"Let us hold fast the confession of the hope unwavering, (for He is faithful who has promised) and let us consider one another for provoking to love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom is with some; but encouraging one another, and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near." The expression, "assembling of ourselves together," only occurs in one other Scripture — in 2 Thess. 2:1.