At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Matthew 27:51; also see Mark 15:38 and Luke 23:45)
This was so significant in answering the question “Where’s God?” The veil prevented anyone from going into God’s presence (except the high priest on the Day of Atonement). This made God’s presence something of a mystery: Does God see me? Does He care about me? How do I get to God? Can I even approach Him? Would He receive me or would He reject me?
The best way to remember the definition for atonement is like this: at-onement.
In one moment, when Jesus said, “It is finished,” all that separated us from God was removed! And we can now live forgiven! We can now be at onement with God!
The veil not only literally and physically hung in the temple, but it figuratively and spiritually hangs in our hearts. This is what the Apostle Paul writes—
But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:14-18)
Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross allowed the Heavenly Father to tear apart the physical veil in the temple. Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to tear apart the spiritual veil in the temple of your heart? Here’s how you can know that the veil has been torn apart—you can notice that you are being transformed more and more into Christ’s likeness.
That’s the significance of the torn veil! That’s the power of Christ’s atonement!
If you missed any of the message in our Where’s God? series, you can find them all here.