Friday, April 10, 2009

A good day

Mommy: Did you have a good day today?
Adelle: Yes.
Mommy: Why do you say you had a good day?
Adelle: Because it's Good Friday.

That was part of the conversation my wife had with Adelle just as we were putting her to sleep just this evening. Such an innocent, almost simplistic answer, but once I thought about it, how much truth there is to it. Indeed, today is a good day for the simple reason it's Good Friday. It's a day of remembrance of the greatest act of courage, and love ever demonstrated. I've always wondered what it was that made someone call this day Good Friday. But, no one (I've checked) seems to know exactly. Anyway, just to share something I've been thinking about and have learned more about.

"And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. "
Matthew 27:51

This event occured as soon as Jesus died.

If you've ever gone through any of the clauses in an insurance policy, then you would proabably have come across the phrase "acts of God". I'm not entirely sure what exactly these "acts of God" encompass, but I suppose they refer to something totally beyond the control of human actions, like natural disasters and the like. And they are usually something the insurance company isn't willing to cover, unless of course, you're willing to pay a substantially large premium for it.

But, I digress.

As far as acts of God are concerned, the happening in the quote above is clearly one. Why?

Just a bit of background information first. The temple refers to the Jewish temple, a place where the Jews go to offer prayers and sacrifices. There are different parts to the Jewish temple, but the only part that is separated by a curtain (or veil) is between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies (or some would say The Most Holy Place) is the most innermost sanctum. It was where the Ark of the Covenant (which contained the two stone tablets of the Law and was a symbol of God's divine presence) was originally was placed and the place where only the High Priest could enter but once a year to make an offering to God for the forgiveness of the sins of the entire Jewish population.

So, the veil or curtain that separates the two places rips. Nothing unusual about a ripping curtain, but the thing is, it rips from the top to the bottom. A human act would be the opposite: from bottom up.

The curtain was almost 20 metres long, and about 10 metres wide, and apparently made of seriously thick fabric (I can't even begin to imagine how thick is seventy-two twisted plaits of twenty-four threads each that are made of linen and wool). I've just learned about these bits of information as I was studying the verse, and I say, it's made the whole event even more amazing.

But all that still falls short of the significance of this act of God. With the curtain now torn into, there is no more hindrance nor limitation nor restriction to the forgiveness of sins. There is no more a need for a high priest to give an offering on our behalf. Jesus has become the High Priest, offering His own blood as the sin offering. The way has been made clear, opened and made free for every one to come into the very presence of God and ask God Himself for forgiveness and receive it.

Thank God for Good Friday.

1 comment:

Miss Mathew said...

Itz Easter! Happy2 Easter Perry, Fen2 & Adelle :)