From Top to Bottom by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

Have you ever searched high and low for something and still couldn’t find it? I live by the adage, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Nonetheless, I occasionally decide that the place where I’ve kept an item for the past 41 years isn’t the most logical. So then I move it and, the next time I need it, I don’t know where it is. I’ve pretty-much decided that it’s better to leave it in the original “wrong” place than to change it. I don’t enjoy looking from top to bottom as if I’m playing “hide the thimble“ all by myself. When I’m the hider and the seeker, I feel like a ding-dong when I can‘t find it!

 

At the time of the crucifixion of Jesus, there were two curtains (veils) inside the temple — one at the entrance to the Holy Place and one at the entrance to the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest was allowed to pass through the second curtain once a year. This curtain was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 4 inches thick. From Golgotha’s cross, Jesus shouted, “It is finished!” and then He released His spirit. “At that moment the curtain [veil] in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened….“ (Matthew 27:51,52 NLT). It was humanly impossible to tear this thick curtain. But when God Himself ripped it in half from top to bottom, He was declaring that everyone could freely come directly to Him through the blood of Jesus!

 

“So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven…. With His own blood — not the blood of goats and calves — He entered the Most Holy Place [Holy of Holies] once for all time and secured our redemption forever. …He is the One who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them” (Hebrews 9:11,12,15 NLT). Christ’s sacrifice was perfect because it was completely effective and didn’t need to be repeated. He alone, as our Redeemer, paid the ransom forever with His precious blood. Jesus is the One who enacted the new covenant with a new relationship with God. The unveiling of Jesus Christ occurred when the veil was torn in two at the entrance of the Holy of Holies.

 

Christ Jesus abolished the requirement for the curtain at the entrance to the Holy of Holies. “When God speaks of a ‘new’ covenant, it means He has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear” (Hebrews 8:13 NLT). The installation of the new covenant proved that the one already in existence was temporary. To return to the old system would be to return to what is no longer valid or effective. “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for He is the One who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6 NLT).

 

I used to think that planned obsolescence only pertained to appliances, but I just realized that God planned for old-covenant obsolescence. I’ll take the new superior over the old inferior any day. Years ago I tried to drink a can of Coke that was out of date — to say it was ineffective would be an understatement. From A to Z, from The Word to Lord, from El Shaddai to the Bread of Life, from a baby to a King, Jesus is everything.

 

The Key: We have a new covenant with God, signed, sealed, and delivered in the blood of Jesus.

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