It was a death sentence to pass through the veil into the Holy of Holies. The Most Holy Place was opened to the sanctified high priest only once a year on the Day of Atonement. His job was to sacrifice for his and the sins of the people and meet with God on their behalf. This practice was a symbol and placeholder for Jesus who would come both as sacrifice for all and High Priest. Everyone who participated in these sacrifices and offerings was saved by faith in God’s word. They were looking forward to the Messiah. The veil was like a very special door and behind it lies intimacy with God.
19 Therefore, [c]believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus, 20 by this new and living way which He initiated and opened for us through the veil [as in the Holy of Holies], that is, through His flesh, 21 and since we have a great and wonderful Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 let us approach [God] with a true and sincere heart in unqualified assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:19-22
God told Moses on Sinai that he wanted to dwell among the people.*Exodus 25:8 For thousands of years, God has wanted to meet with us. Moses met with God and spoke with him as a friend in a tent away from the camp. This is a picture that we need to come away from our outer world to meet with him. When Moses left his intimate time with God, his face shined with a holy radiance from being in his presence. He would put on a veil to cover his face after giving the commands to the people. The glory of God is meant to stay with his word. Moses used a veil to cover the glory on his face when he wasn’t speaking the word of God to the people. He only used the glory that shone on him for God’s purposes. We should use this as a reminder to use God’s glory solely for its purpose.
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand, he did not know that the skin of his face was shining [with a unique radiance] because he had been speaking with God… . 33 When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face.Exodus 34:29-35
From Top To Bottom
The moment Jesus died, the curtain in the temple tore from the top to the bottom, or rather from heaven to the earth. The curtain was traditionally very thick; some historical accounts say 4 or 5 inches this. God tore it from heaven to the earth, the moment that Jesus was torn from the earth. The barrier to us mingling with God was gone at that moment. Jesus finished the job he came to do confirmed by his final words. Jesus is our high priest who performed the ritual sacrifice of his body and blood so that through his blood, we enter the Most Holy Place can commune with God personally.
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.Matthew 27:50-51
Going from our life to an intimate commune with God is a process. We come through the door (Jesus) and make our sacrifices with a broken and contrite heart. * Just as it took time to prepare the animals and sacrifice them, it takes time to be still and find sins that grieve God and simply give them to him. We wash not in the basin but the word of God (John 15:3) as it ushers us to the Holy Place, previously reserved for priests, but now we can enter through Jesus. It’s here we see only by his light. We remember his sacrifice through communion. We pray and sacrificially worship, becoming a sweet incense to God. There is another place beyond the veil or curtain where we can enter. We have the blood-bought honor to be in the most intimate place with our mighty Lord, and like Moses, we speak to him as a friend. *
11 Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.Exodus 33:11