“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
If you’re a Christian, you’re familiar with the death and resurrection of Jesus. While an understanding of those two things are important, there are also other events that Matthew records that happened after the death of Jesus. Matthew 27:50 says that Jesus, while he was on the cross, cried out with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. In other words, Jesus died. But something happened after that. Verse 51 says, “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” What does the death of Jesus have to do with some curtains in the temple? In a word, everything.
The curtain of the temple separated the part of the temple called the Most Holy Place from the outer chamber. The curtain signified the separation between God who is holy and the people who were sinful. It was a place that a High Priest could only enter on the Day of Atonement. Christ’s death removes the barrier caused by sin, the barrier that used to separate all the children of God from their God. Christ’s death was not merely an example for us. It was not just a display of God’s love. It was God’s love in action. In love, God sent Jesus to die on the cross and satisfy the wrath of God. Because of that, all who put their faith in Jesus are saved. And where God was inaccessible because of his holiness, we are made holy by the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 6:19 says that in Jesus, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
In other words, Jesus went before us into the inner place, into God’s presence. His work on the cross tore the wall of separation down. And now, he doesn’t just invite us to be near to God’s presence; he invites us into the very presence of God where there is fulness of joy and pleasures forevermore. What does the torn curtain have to do with our relationship with God? Everything!