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Christ The High Priest

"And when the sixth hour [i.e. using the ancient manner of time-keeping, the sixth hour of daylight, about noon] was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour [i.e. the ninth hour of daylight, about 3:00 pm on a modern-day clock]. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani? which is, being interpreted [from Aramaic], My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? ... And the veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:33-34,38-39 KJV)

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come"

In the Temple (see Temples) a dividing wall separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (see Layout Of The Temple). Although the wall had a door, which was always kept open, a curtain, or veil, was hung over the entrance as a screen. It was lifted only once a year by the high priest when he entered into the Sanctuary on The Day Of Atonement. As described in the opening paragraph, it was that veil that was miraculously torn at the moment that the Messiah's sacrifice for humanity was complete.

Passover In Egypt Why was it torn?

First, the meaning of the ritual symbolism that foreshadowed the coming Messiah:

"Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made [see The Tabernacle In The Wilderness]; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread [see Bread of the Presence]; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and The Ark Of The Covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant [see The Ten Commandments and The Ten Commandments Now?, also What Did The Ten Commandments Look Like?]; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing The Mercy Seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly."

"Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests [see Levites] went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation."

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood [see Why Blood?] He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:1-12 KJV)

It was the Messiah's sacrifice that opened The Way to God:

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way [see also Covenant and Testament], which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God [see "My Father's House"]; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works [see Believers]: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?] and fiery indignation [see Baptism Of Fire], which shall devour the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:19-27 RSV)

Fact Finder: The Lord commanded that both the Tabernacle and the Temple faced east. Why?
See Why Did They Face East?

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