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The words “Let us draw near” are probably familiar to us from hearing them many times at the beginning of the liturgy in the Sunday worship service. The pastor invites us to draw near to God to confess our sins and receive the assurance of forgiveness.

We may not think much about those words when we hear them.

We may take it for granted that we can approach God in worship and receive His blessings. We don’t always appreciate the fact that coming into God’s presence at any time and asking for whatever we need is a privilege.

The observance of Good Friday teaches the greatness of this privilege, for we are reminded of the great cost at which it was obtained for us. Jesus gained access to God for us when He “bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

One of the events of Good Friday powerfully and graphically teaches that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is what opened the door for us to come into God’s presence. It is the rending of the veil in the temple. The Gospels report that when Jesus breathed His last on the cross on the afternoon of Good Friday, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

The veil hung before the most holy place in the temple, the place of God’s presence. It was a massive curtain measuring sixty feet by thirty feet and having the thickness of a human hand. It hid the most holy place from human view so that not even the priests serving in the temple were permitted to look into it. Only the high priest passed through the veil. He did it only once each year, on the Day of Atonement, and then only with the blood of sacrifice.

The temple veil was a powerful reminder of human sin that was the barrier between man and God. Until that barrier was removed, man could not come into God’s presence.

The evangelists clearly intend that we should take the rending of the temple veil as a miracle, as a mighty sign that the way into God’s presence had again been opened. 

With the offering of His body on the cross, Christ removed the barrier of sin. To show that the barrier had been removed, God Himself tore the veil in two. The evangelists clearly intend that we should take the rending of the temple veil as a miracle, as a mighty sign that the way into God’s presence had again been opened.

The book of Hebrews adds to our understanding of the meaning of the torn temple veil (see chapter 10:19-22). There we are taught that by shedding His blood Jesus opened for us “a new and living way” which gives us boldness to enter “the Holiest,” that is, the very presence of God. The entrance into His presence is “through the veil, that is, His flesh.” 

The body of Jesus, the Lamb of God sacrificed for everyone, is the only means of entrance into God’s presence. All who would come before God must come through Jesus, the crucified, and all who come to God trusting in Jesus for their righteousness do gain access to Him and His blessings of forgiveness and life.

God who has opened the way for us into His presence at so great a cost intends that we should make use of it. “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Hebrews 10:22).

Let us draw near to God 

to confess our sins with the confidence that all are forgiven.

Let us draw near to God 

in worship with the assurance that He will accept it.

Let us draw near to God 

in prayer with the confidence that He will hear and answer.