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A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom and, knowing that his father could easily afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As graduation day approached, the young man looked for signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully-wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely leather-bound Bible with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old and thought maybe he should go see him. He had not seen him since the graduation day. But before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away and had left all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still-new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears he opened the Bible and began to run the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7:11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.”
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealers name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words ... Paid In Full.
If I could have been present at certain moments in history, one event I would like to have seen was the veil of the temple being torn in two.
In the inner court of the temple in Jerusalem, in the Holy of Holies, was the Ark of the covenant. That was where the high priest would go once a year to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people. A veil, a very thick, woven curtain, separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple.
When Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, that heavy curtain was torn from top to bottom. It was not ripped from bottom to top, as if a man were ripping it. Instead, it was ripped from top to bottom, because God was ripping it.
God was saying,“You no longer are on the outside. You can come in. My Son has made a way for you.”
The Hebrew writer explained how we can now draw near to God: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body; and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrew 10:19-22). The veil was torn, Jesus is now our Intercessor. We don’t have to go through a person to reach God anymore. We don’t have to go through rituals anymore. Instead, Jesus made a new and living way for us to reach God.
As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Salvation is now available to all people. Through the Blood of Christ, your past can be forgiven and our future can be secure. That is truly the Good News!
Brother Keith Miller is the pastor at English Christian Church.