38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
ESV - 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
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Each Gospel writer told the story of Jesus from various perspectives, but all focused on His death. Matthew, in addition to Mark's Gospel, records the opening of the graves after the temple curtain was torn (Matt 27:49-54). The curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom symbolizing the beginning of a new era in God’s salvation plan. The sacrificial service was pointing to Jesus – now that Christ, the Lamb of God, has died, the animal sacrificial system was no longer necessary. The sanctuary service was now replaced by something much better. Matthew records not only the tearing of the curtain but the rocks splitting, the graves opening, and some of the dead being raised. All these events were possible only because of what Jesus had accomplished by dying as our Substitute for sin. Under the old system all this could never have happened, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” (Heb 10:4). Only Jesus could take away sins. Without that promise, we have nothing (1 Cor. 15:13-14, 1 Cor 15:19). In these early resurrections (we don’t know how many) is the proof that Christ defeated sin and death, and now we have the promise that all who died in Christ will be resurrected the same way at the end of this time.
I believe it was symbolic indicating that we no longer have any separation from God and we can now talk to Him directly.
Jesus had cried out loudly and uttered that `everything is finished’ and Jesus left His spirit to His Father. This was the 6th word He uttered(Jn.19:30) When the finished work of Jesus was accomplished many unusual events took place. Events that followed the Crucifixion were: (1) The Veil of the Temple rent; (2) The Earthquake; (3) The Saints arise; (4) The Centurion at the Cross; (5) The Watching of the Women. The curtain in the temple tear in two "from top to bottom"? (Matthew 27:51) was one of crucial events. The Jewish Temple was divided into three parts: the Outer Court, open to all; the Holy Place, to which the ministering priests had daily access to burn incense and trim the lamps; and the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest was permitted to go, and that but once a year, on the great Day of Atonement. The barrier of this practice was once for all have been lifted up.
The curtain tore as part of a God-given miracle that ended the separation of humanity from his presence. Before Christ's death, our sins were not covered, and therefore we could not enter God's holy place in the temple. Now, our sins are covered, so being in God's presence is no longer lethal as it was in the Old Testament. This further symbolizes the fact that we, as Christians covered by Jesus's blood, can enter heaven. Previously, even saved OT saints could not enter the "heaven" where God resides because their sins had not been covered. Now, since our sins are covered, we can enter heaven.
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