Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mark 15:38 (NKJV)
This week marks the 70th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer, a designated day of prayer in the United States of America. Seventy is such a significant number. Seventy Israelites went down to Egypt in Genesis to be with Joseph. When Jacob died, Joseph and his brothers mourned for seventy days. Seventy elders went with Moses to the Mountain of God. The Israelites were exiled to Babylon for seventy years. Jesus calls us to forgive people seventy times seven times. Could it be that God will do some extraordinary miracles this 70th year of the National Day of Prayer? We pray that He will!!!
Already we are seeing glorious answers to prayer. A few faithful prayer warriors meet together weekly at my church. One prayer request has been for unborn babies because abortion hurts our hearts and the heart of God. It is no wonder that the enemy goes after babies, for we are all made in God’s image. The enemy wants to blot out that image, but we say ENOUGH! We will not sacrifice our children to idols! Each week we pray for the babies, and guess what! This past week the governor of our state signed five new pro-life bills into law! We praise God for His glorious answers to prayer!
Last year for the National Day of Prayer, our church hosted a special speaker (Tony George via zoom) who compared prayer to the tabernacle. He explained each part of the tabernacle and how that represents a part of prayer. I loved his example and want to share it with you in relation to My TEA CUPP Prayers….
For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All. Hebrews 9:2-3 (NKJV)
The tabernacle (and later the temple) was set up according to the plan Moses received from God on the mountain. First was the gate where we enter with THANKSGIVING. Then came the alter of sacrifice where we pour out our praise and offerings, EXALTING our God. Then came the lever for washing, a place for ADMITTING our sins and being washed clean. And that was just the courtyard. Then entering the tent on the right side was the table of showbread, where Jesus, the Bread of Life, feeds us with His Word and shows us our CALLING. On the left side was the golden lampstand, representing Jesus, the Light of the world, who helps us in UNDERSTANDING our stories by lighting our way. Then came the altar of incense which I use to claim God’s PROMISES that all my prayers rise up to Him in heaven. Lastly, behind the curtain, was the Most Holy Place with the Ark of the Covenant. It is here that we can now meet with God the Father, PETITIONING Him for all that is on our hearts.
And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. Exodus 26:33 (NKJV)
Before Jesus gave His life on the cross, only the designated high priest could enter the Holy of holies to minister before God once a year. It is said that when he went into the Holy of holies to perform his duties, they would tie a rope to his ankle in case he died while behind the curtain. Then they could drag the priest back out without entering the Holy of holies. In Matthew chapter 1 we read about the priest Zacharias who was taking his turn at burning incense before the Lord. While Zacharias was in the temple, a multitude of people were outside praying. And it was then that the angel appeared to Zacharias and announced the birth of John the Baptist. John, who would point people to the Savior Jesus. The same Jesus, who would tear the curtain from top to bottom.
Let’s read a bit of Mark 15:37-41 about the day Jesus died… “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.”
Dear Ladies, I want you to notice three things. First, Jesus breathed His last and died. He willingly gave His life, taking the punishment we deserve for our sins. All the sins of all the world were upon Him as He shed His blood and gave His life for us, because He loves us. Secondly, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This curtain was so huge and so thick that no person could reach up and tear it from the top, perhaps from the bottom, but not from the top. This was done by the hand of God at the death of His only begotten Son, opening the door to the Holy of holies for all who believe. Finally, notice all the women that were there. Jesus loved ladies as a Father and brother and still loves us today. We should continue to gather around His cross, seek Him at the tomb, and enter into the throne room to speak with His Father. Jesus, is our High Priest who holds open the curtain for us!
Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:1 (NKJV)
Imagine the panic in the temple after Jesus’ death when suddenly the Holy of holies was exposed! How did they fix it without breaking the Jewish traditions? There was no need to repair it for God was inviting all to enter the Holy of holies and He still invites us today. Ladies, Jesus’ sacrificial death has torn the veil for us so we can enter the very presence of God!
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20 (NKJV)
Nancy Campbell, founder above Above Rubies, tells in a recent podcast how too many of us are just hanging around in the temple courtyard. Nancy says, we’ve come into the courtyard and been washed clean by the blood of Jesus, but we’re just standing there. We need to go into the inner court and pour our hearts out to God.
Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Mark 15 for the whole story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the torn curtain. Read Hebrews 9 for more about the Tabernacle. Move from the courtyard into the Holy of Holies, dear sister! Jesus invites you! He tore the curtain for you. Come, make your requests to the Father. And pray especially today for the United States of America, expecting great miracles in this 70th year of the National Day of Prayer!
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, Ephesians 2:14 (NKJV)
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson