If you’re like me, you’ve been taught your whole life that when Jesus died on the cross the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies was torn in two. This idea is so widely accepted as fact that even challenging it as accurate seems a bit like a fool’s errand. I mean, Jesus made a way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies, isn’t that a good thing? Why would you want to challenge this idea? What good can come out of seeing this idea from a different perspective?
- Temple Typology – As we discussed in this session of our weekly meeting, to completely understand the details of the Temple is to completely understand the details of YOU. As such, if there is a massively misunderstood component of the Temple that just happens to correspond with the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross, don’t you think having an accurate understanding might give us a key insight that the world has been missing?
- Greater Work – Jesus told us that we would do greater works than He did. Do we really think He was talking just about doing ‘better’ miracles? Are there levels of greatness when it comes to raising the dead? Was ‘Miracle Max’ from The Princess Bride right when he said, “There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.” That must be it. Jesus only raised ‘mostly dead’ people, and we’re supposed to raise ‘all dead’ people. This must be the greater works He’s talking about. …. (appropriate pause for sarcastic effect) …. Or maybe Jesus was talking about something a bit bigger than simple quantification of miracle ‘difficulty’ levels. Maybe there is still one more thing to be accomplished in the plan of the Father, and it’s up to humanity to complete it.
The attached PDF is a document that explains in great detail some of the anomalies of the Temple between the crucifixion and the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. I found this paper after I saw something in the scriptures that rocked my world about this idea. I had read these verses a thousand times, but I had never seen what they clearly said with unfiltered eyes. Read Hebrews 9 below and see if you can see what rocked my world that day (emphasis added in bold).
1Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. 2For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. 3Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, 4having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
NOTE: There were 2 veils! Have you ever heard that taught? I hadn’t. Yet, there it is in plain sight. Also, the author talks about the Holy of Holies and then flat-out tells you that he doesn’t have time to speak about those things (things in the second room) in detail right now. Showing that the verses still to come are NOT about the Holy of Holies. The author is intentionally telling us that he’s talking about the first room, not the second.
6Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, 7but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, 9which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, 10since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.
NOTE: While verse 7 mentions the second room, the author specifically says that the way into the Holy Place has not been disclosed. It does NOT say Holy of Holies. He is talking about the Holy Place.
11But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
NOTE: There it is in plain English (and also plain Greek if that’s what you’re wondering). Jesus entered the Holy Place once, for all. This is a specific reference to the daily going in and out and in and out of the Holy Place. The torn veil is a fulfillment of the inference in verse 8 that a way into the Holy Place has now been disclosed because the veil has been torn.
15For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
23Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.
NOTE: Christ entered a Holy Place (not Holy of Holies) made without hands. I would also point to the ‘second coming’ reference as further evidence that there remains more to the story.
What you will find in the attached document is what I interpret to be historical proof that the torn veil in the Temple was not the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, but was the veil between the Outer Court and the Holy Place. Meaning, there is still one veil to be torn; one more enemy to be defeated.
What enemy is that?
25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.
There is still one more enemy to be defeated, and Jesus is WAITING for it to be defeated by someone else. I believe this clearly shows that the only ones who have any ‘work’ left to be done are the same ones who lost to this original enemy, death. It is a greater work. It is the final veil. It is the last part of our Spirit, Soul, and Body that still needs to be unveiled. The immortal body is the last room in the Temple, and it is only unveiled by those who defeat death.