In the Old Testament, the people perceive the temple as God’s dwelling place here on earth. Therefore, to approach God they need to go to the temple. They worship God there and no place else. The God in the Old Testament commands it.
In the temple hangs a thick, heavy veil (curtain) that separates the temple’s inner sanctum where God resides (the Holy of Holies) from the regular people, even most of the priests. The only person who can enter it is one specially selected priest and then only once a year.
Jesus Dies to Change that
At the moment Jesus breathes his final breath the veil in the temple rips in two, symbolically allowing the people direct access to God, without the need for a priest to act as an intermediary. Additionally the veil tears from top to bottom, from heaven to earth, to show that God initiates it.
This is Jesus’s doing, not man’s.
Now through faith in Jesus we may approach God directly, freely and with confidence. The veil is gone. We have no need for a middleman to act as our liaison to God.
Peter writes that we are now living stones. God actively builds us into a spiritual temple. We are to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices to him.
That is who we are through Jesus.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.