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Day 29: Jesus’ sacrifice changed everything

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46 

Jesus’ sacrifice changed everything about how people can relate to God. We remember that His death atones for our sin and that His resurrection shows that we can be resurrected, too. His sacrifice also had an immediate effect on the Jewish temple, one that symbolized the change Jesus made in the way people can relate to God.

The design of the temple was given to King Solomon by God. It included a curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, which held the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was the place where God met with the Jewish High Priest. The priest was only supposed to go there once a year, and he was the only one allowed in. He was the representative for all of the Jewish people, because they could not approach God directly. They were physically separated from Him by this curtain.

At Jesus’ death, this curtain ripped in half. No one was separated from God’s presence any more. It was open to all. Jesus’ sacrifice changed the way people could relate to God. But it came at great cost: the life of the perfect Son of God.

Jesus’ death, which he underwent by choice, wasn’t just an example of serving others or a symbolic action. It made real, immediate changes to the world, both the physical tear in the temple curtain and the less-obvious but more important change to the way we come to God. Instead of making sacrifices for our sins over and over, we can be forgiven completely through Jesus’ sacrifice. Instead of needing a priest to ask forgiveness for us, we can go to God directly.

Question for reflection and discussion

  • When you need forgiveness, do you go to God right away?
  • Why or why not?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, Your sacrifice makes it possible for us to go to God with requests, praise, and repentance. Thank You for giving up Your life so that we could be part of Your family. In Jesus’ name, amen.