Mark 15:37, 38

“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”

John 19:30 reveals Jesus’ cry: “It is finished!” Then He died of His own volition. And as Mark tells above, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

The veil in the temple was likely modeled after the veil of the tabernacle, which was a curtain of many layers of heavy, thick material. It was made according to God’s direction, as spelled out in Exodus 26. God told Moses that everything was to be made according to the pattern that he had seen in the mount. The veil was hung at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, the place of God’s presence. When the tabernacle was replaced with the temple, a veil was included. The temple that Solomon built had one, and so did the temple at Jesus’ time. The builders of those temples knew that a veil was needed, because the Holy of Holies was the place of God’s presence among them.

Going into God’s presence was not something that just anyone could do. According to God’s direction, only the high priest was allowed to enter through the veil. Neither could it be at any time. He was only allowed to go in once a year. God told Moses, in Exodus 33:20, that no man can see Him and live. The veil and the rules concerning entry, prevented incidental or uncaring entry into God’s presence. What a great mercy on God’s part! He made it impossible for that to happen to anyone, and gave the high priest rules by which he could safely enter His presence.

Upon Jesus’ death, that veil was torn. It was torn from the top. God did it! Jesus’ death opened the way into God’s presence.

In the book of Hebrews, it is revealed that the tabernacle was a pattern or model of things in heaven; God’s throne room. That includes the veil. In Hebrews 10:19-22 we read, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” The writer of the book of Hebrews speaks of a veil through which entry into God’s presence is still to be made. With Jesus’ death, the pattern of heavenly things no longer had a veil. But, the heavenly things themselves still have a veil. Hebrews 10:20 states that the veil is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider these two veils. The veil of the tabernacle was made at God’s direction. But it was made by the hands of men, who are defiled by sin. God’s direction about how to make the veil could not remove that stain. That was the veil that was torn by God when Jesus died. That was the veil before the pattern of God’s throne room.

The veil that is Christ’s flesh is the true veil of the true tabernacle. That veil was torn by man, but was placed by God. Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. His place as veil at the entrance of the throne room of God was His place in eternity past, before creation, and continues to be His place.

There are still ones that can enter, and ones that cannot. For some, Jesus is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, as 1 Peter 2:8 puts it. They refuse to believe in Him. They refuse to believe that they need Him. And as Jesus put it in John 15:23, “He that hateth me hateth my Father also.” For these ones Jesus is a veil that prevents entry into God’s presence. For them there is no going in and going out. Until they see Jesus as their Savior, their way to God is blocked.

Others have taken Jesus as their Savior. They have believed in Him and on Him. For them, the veil is a place of entry into God’s presence. Those that are allowed to enter can do so boldly, as Hebrews 10 says. Like the high priest that entered once a year with the blood of sacrifice, so now entry is by Jesus’ blood. Unlike the priest, there is for them continual access to God’s presence.

The veil of the tabernacle and temple prevented access to God. That veil was torn by God. The veil on the throne room of the King of the Universe is the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him whosoever will come to Him has free and bold access to God. Without Him there is still no access, there is no hope.

Through Thy precious body broken
Inside the veil;
O what words to sinners spoken
Inside the veil!
Precious as the blood that bought us,
Perfect as the love that sought us,
Holy as the Lamb that brought us
Inside the veil!

When we see Thy love unshaken
Outside the camp;
Scorned by man, by God forsaken,
Outside the camp;
Thy loved cross alone can charm us,
Shame need now no more alarm us,
Glad we follow, naught can harm us
Outside the camp.

Lamb of God, through Thee we enter
Inside the veil;
Cleansed by Thee, we boldly venture
Inside the veil;
Not a stain; a new creation;
Ours is such a full salvation;
Low we bow in adoration
Inside the veil.

Unto Thee, the homeless stranger
Outside the camp,
Forth we hasten, fear no danger
Outside the camp.
Thy reproach, far richer treasure
Than all Egypt’s boasted pleasure;
Drawn by love that knows no measure,
Outside the camp.

Soon Thy saints shall all be gathered
Inside the veil;
All at home, no more be scattered,
Inside the veil.
Naught from Thee our hearts shall sever;
We shall see Thee, grieve Thee never;
Praise the Lamb! shall sound for ever
Inside the veil! (Elizabeth Dark)

Matthew 21:21

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”

In the verses just before this, Matthew reported that Jesus went to a fig tree looking for fruit on it. Finding none, He cursed the tree, and it dried up from its roots. Matthew said that His disciples marveled at how the tree dried up so soon. The verses above were Jesus’ response. In his telling of the same story, Mark added the detail, in Mark 11:22, that Jesus told His disciples to, “…Have faith in God.”

It is important to think about Who cursed the tree and how He lived His life. Concerning Jesus, Paul wrote in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Paul said that Jesus is God, and that He came in the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. He did this intentionally. Paul also wrote that Jesus was obedient unto death. Obedience requires someone to be obeyed. Jesus was obedient to His Father. As Hebrews 5:8 puts it, “…Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which he suffered…” Jesus is God, but He became a man and endured even death in obedience to His Father’s will.

Proof is seen in the garden of Gethsemane. Mark 14:35, 36 says, “And (Jesus) went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Then, as He was being taken by the crowd, Jesus said that He could ask His Father for more than twelve legions of angels, and He would send them. But Jesus set His will aside and chose what His Father wanted. He knew what lie before Him, and sweat, as it were, great drops of blood. His agonies in the garden were met by His choice to do His Father’s will.

Would it diminish Jesus to think that He only did that which His Father willed, in complete faith in His Father? Could it be that His Father directed in every matter, and Jesus did not take one step without His Father’s direction? Do we see the Father’s hand leading Jesus to that fig tree? Being God, Jesus knew that it was barren. But, didn’t His Father direct? On that day would we have heard Jesus say, not My will, but Thine be done?

The reason the Father sent Jesus to that fig tree is seen in what followed. It provided Jesus an opportunity to teach His disciples. Jesus told them that the thing that He had done they would also be able to do. Not only that, but He told them that they could command a mountain to be moved into the sea, and it would obey them. This must have added to their marvel. It was amazing enough to think that they could cause a tree to shrivel. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said, “…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Believers may wonder if they have even that much faith. Has there ever been a case of a moving mountain? But even Jesus Himself didn’t do that. He certainly had enough faith. He didn’t move a mountain because His Father did not will it. Any ability to do anything is given by the One in Whom is our faith. God Almighty is certainly well able to cast a mountain into the sea. God’s purpose in all miracles is to bring glory to Himself.

Jesus’ teaching about shriveling trees and moving mountains must be understood in the light of His life of dependance on His Father. Before Philippians 2:6-8, discussed above, Paul wrote in verse 5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…” He told the Philippians that Jesus emptied Himself, and told them to do the same; “You think the way He did.” Romans 8:29 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Believers are being conformed to the image of Jesus. One way in which we are being conformed is in learning to live life depending on God, just as Jesus did. When we do, we do what He tells us. If He asks us to move a mountain, it will happen because of His might, not because of the measure of our faith. And doing so will glorify God, not us.

Psalm 46:1-3 reveals a day when mountains will be cast into the sea, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” This reminds of the coming day of judgment upon the earth. God is well able to move mountains. To His glory will these things happen. And we will have no reason to fear. We are to obey Him, and trust Him, and leave the rest to Him, just as Jesus did.

Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.


Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly does His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.


Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.


Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain (Edgar P. Stites)