“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the did rent;” (Matt. 27:51)
Roberts Liardon tells us that we are all familiar with the veil that hung in the Old Testament temple as a separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The veil of separation alienated man from the very presence of God. Why was there a veil? It was there because the Old Testament person could not stand in the glory of God. Only the High Priest could enter beyond the veil and he could only do it once a year. The High Priest would go through rites of cleansing and purification as he prepared himself to enter into the holy of holies. This day on the Jewish calendar was the most important day of the year as the High Priest offered sacrifices on behalf of the Jewish people.
Roberts Liardon tells us that the Most Holy Place was the place where one man had access to the glory of God. That one man had to prepare himself in a very special way as he entered into this holy place. If not, he would die. When Christ died that veil was rent in two symbolizing that there is now free and total access into the presence of God for all irregardless of their condition. No longer are there secret processes for a single man to get into the glory.
I realized something that when I taught about being in the glory and being in the Spirit, that there was something that I missed in my teaching. As preachers we often give the impression that in order to be in the Spirit and to experience the glory, we must discover the secret staircase to the presence of God. We give the impression that the glory of God is for only certain people who have reached that special place and they are the ones that hold the keys. Through our preaching we have made it a difficult process for people to experience God. Some of this we get from the Catholic mystics. In Madame Guyon’s writing on experiencing the presence of God she lays out a whole process that one has to go through in order to experience God in the way that she has.