The Most Impactful Verse in the Bible
I got you with the the title didn’t I? I don’t mean to click-bait you, but before I say which verse I’m talking about, I want to throw a disclaimer. All of God’s Word is infinitely important. There isn’t a verse that could be singled out and lifted above the other words of God as if those other passages were not as important. What I mean by the most impactful verse in the Bible is that this one verse changes nearly everything in all of history. This verse is found in Matthew 27:51, but I will include verse 50 for context. “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.”
This small phrase is often overlooked by those who are reading about the suffering Christ went through to grant us salvation. Surely, even its immediate context is distracting with earthquakes and dead people walking around. A lot was happening. Yet, perhaps our biggest reason for undervaluing this verse is because of our lack of understanding regarding the importance of that veil being torn. To understand how this verse changes everything we must go back to the beginning.
From the Garden to the Temple.
Before man sinned there was fellowship between God and His creation - mankind. Man was able to have direct communication with God. Yet, because of sin that fellowship was broken. Our sin separated us from God. This separation was given a visible picture when God informed Moses that He would come into the Temple to the section called the Holy of holies. Leviticus 16:2, “And the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.”
This veil then became the visible marker of the separation that exists between a holy God and sinful men. Only the High Priest could enter that area and only once a year. They would even tie a rope around the Priest’s ankle just in case his sin caused God to strike him dead while in the Holy of holies.
Christ tore the veil in two.
Christ, being God, was 100% sinless when He died on the Cross in verse 50 of Matthew 27. He bore the sins of us all in order to reconciles us back to God. That is what is being shown in the effect of Christ’s death. Immediately following Jesus’ last breath, the veil in the Temple. Where no one would be close, is torn. God ripped it in half to show that Christ’s payment was sufficient. Christ had made it possible for sinful man to be redeemed from their sin and have fellowship with God once again. No earthly mediator, no special day, instead we have Hebrews 10:19, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.”
How does it change everything you ask?
It gives us a New Mediator, an infinitely better Mediator.
It allows us access to Holy God in a personal way.
It was a sign that the ultimate sacrifice was made which satisfied the demands of the Law.
It is a completion of the Law: giving us freedom from it.
It is the turning point from Old Testament worship to New Testament worship.
It grants us ceremonial cleansing through the blood of Christ.
It gifts us with an eternal hope of being with God forever.
Yes, the veil being torn changes everything.