Introduction: Do you have any “veils” in your life? One of my favorite local restaurants has you walk through a curtain to enter. Not certain how sanitary it is to have everyone brushing against that curtain. There are many intellectual veils in my life. They consist of subjects on which I have an opinion, but then when I learn more I realize that I don’t have the correct understanding. The sanctuary in the wilderness, the temple in Jerusalem, both had a veil separating the holy from the most holy rooms. That is the veil we explore this week. Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more about what these curtains have to do with our lives!

  1.         Feasts and Symbols

  1.         Read Exodus 12:3, Exodus 12:5-7, and Exodus 12:12-13. What did following this instruction about sacrificing a lamb (or goat) do for God’s people? (It kept their firstborn from being killed when the angel passed over and the Egyptian firstborn were being killed.)

  1.         Read Exodus 12:14, John 19:13-15, and Matthew 27:45. What connection do you see between the celebration of the Passover and Jesus’ crucifixion? (The celebration of the time the angel passed over, and the blood saved their firstborn, takes place at the same time as Jesus is being crucified.)

  1.         Let’s drill down on this. Look again at Exodus 12:6 and compare it with Matthew 27:46. What do you learn about the timing of the two? (Exodus says that the Passover lamb was to be killed at “twilight.”  Vincent’s Word Studies says that the “ninth hour” of Matthew 27:46 was about 3 p.m. in the afternoon. John MacArthur’s commentary recounts that Moses directed that the sacrifice take place at “twilight” and the Jewish historian Josephus recounts that it was customary to sacrifice the lamb at about 3 p.m.)

  1.         Is it a coincidence that Jesus died on the cross at approximately the same time that the Passover lamb was killed?

  1.         Read Leviticus 23:4-6 and Leviticus 23:15-16. When does the Feast of Unleavened Bread begin? (On the Sabbath after Passover and it goes on for a week.)

  1.         Notice the reference to the fifty days later. This is the Feast of Harvest, also known as “Pentecost” (see Acts 2:1) to Christians.

  1.         Read Acts 1:3-5 and Acts 2:1-4. What change is taking place in Christianity? (This is the promised gift of the Holy Spirit in power.)

  1.         What does the precise connection between Jesus’ death and the Passover, and the connection to these other two feasts teach us? (Jesus is, indeed, the promised Passover Lamb. God uses the Feast of Harvest as the beginning of the new harvest of souls through the power of the Holy Spirit.)

  1.         Let’s find another connection. Read Matthew 27:50-51. What happens at the moment of Jesus’ death? (The curtain (the veil) in the temple is torn in two.)

  1.         Where was this curtain located? (Read Exodus 26:33. It separated the holy from the most holy place. No Jewish believer would tear the veil because they would fear death if they entered into the most holy place. See Leviticus 16:2.)

  1.         What should we conclude about the veil being torn from top to bottom? (A supernatural being did this. This was a heavy curtain. A human would try to cut it from the bottom, rather than tearing it from the top. Plus, this would be a dangerous undertaking for a human because of the danger of accidentally stepping into the most holy place.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 10:19-20. What does this text suggest about the nature of the torn curtain and who tore it? (God tore it. “He opened for us through the curtain.”)

  1.         The Veil

  1.         Let’s further explore the tearing of the veil. Read Hebrews 10:19-22. What does it mean for us to “enter the holy places?” (The most holy place is where God was present. This is where the average person would die if they entered because of the presence of God. Jesus has opened a “new and living way” for us as a result of His sacrifice.)

  1.         Read Zechariah 3:1-2. Where is Satan standing? (At the right hand of the High Priest.)

  1.         Where is the High Priest? (The presence of the “angel of the Lord,” and the record of God speaking suggests this is a vision of heaven.)

  1.         Read Revelation 12:7-9. What does this record?

  1.         Do you know when this took place?

  1.         Read Revelation 12:10-11. What does this tell us about the work of Satan the accuser? (He had to relocate. He is no longer in heaven. He has been cast down to the earth.)

  1.         Let’s contemplate this for a couple of moments. Do you think that the tearing of the veil, which symbolizes our entry into the presence of God, is connected with the departure of Satan from the presence of God? (It appears that they are connected. Satan is gone. Jesus allows us to enter into God’s presence. Praise God!)

  1.         Our Entry

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:21. What event involves Moses trembling with fear? (Read Exodus 19:16-19. This refers to the time of the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai.  The people were to “meet God.” It was a fearful time because the power of God was on display.)

  1.         Read Exodus 19:21. What would happen if the people looked at God? (They would perish.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:22. Note that verse 22 begins with “but, you.” What change does this signal? How has the picture changed? (This is a picture of heaven. It introduces us to the idea that we now have a completely different experience than the people did at Sinai.)

  1.         In what way is the experience different? How does this compare to coming to where God lives in heaven? (This new setting is a festival. It sounds like a place where people and angels are having fun.)

  1.         Read Hebrews 12:23-24. Notice that this says that we come “to God.” Do you think this means that we see God? (That is what is suggested. We are now able to see God and not die.)

  1.         How would you relate this to the veil being torn and the most holy place opened to view? (These verses are consistent with the idea that Jesus allows us to enter into the most holy place of the temple – where God’s presence could be found. This temple is in heaven where we see God.)

  1.         Read John 5:24. Under the old system, the people would die if they saw God. Why is that? (Because they were sinners and He is a holy God.)

  1.         What do we find in this text that explains why we can now enter into the presence of God? (We have passed from death to eternal life. We do not come into judgment.)

  1.         What is required of us to pass through? (Hear God’s word and believe in Jesus.)

  1.         Friend, would you like that right now? Would you like to pass through the veil, pass from death to life so that you can stand in the presence of God? Why not make that decision right now?

  1.         Next week: Jesus, Author and Perfecter of Our Faith.