The Torn Curtain of the Temple
Overseer Sung-Hyun Kim
It might be impossible to express the grace that God gave us with human words. We sometimes try to express His grace with excessively simple sentences, but there are times when we miss really important aspects. For example, people say, “Believe in Jesus. Jesus died on the cross, so all your sins are forgiven. You will go heaven.” If people listen to these words and start their church lives without adequately understanding about sin, they may easily overlook the seriousness of sin, and in some cases, deliberately commit sins.
To properly understand the value of forgiveness, people should first understand how serious responsibility for sins is. If not, they will not think about their entrusted responsibility and assume too easily that heaven’s glory will be given to them. Because of this, they easily neglect their lives of faith. To clarify the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion – our original condition was that we were cut off from God, but it completely changed due to Him. We were enemies of God who could not approach Him. But the cursed barrier blocking us from God collapsed and reconciliation between God and us was achieved.
God personally testified to the spiritual reality when the curtain of Jerusalem’s temple was torn from top to bottom and the division between the Most Holy Place and Holy Place disappeared at the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross. Before reconciliation with God was complete, there was no one to hear people’s repentance – no matter how much they repented. Therefore, mankind could not escape destruction. But the chance for us to be forgiven came by Jesus’ death on the cross, and we are given the right to lives of faith that lead to heaven.
We can approach God through the perfect sacrifice of Christ, as He is the High Priest, and we are now priests who help Him. Like He forgives sins, we are partially entrusted with His duty to display the forgiveness of sins. For sure, we still have many faults. But God does not treat us as His enemy, and is biased in our favor and allows us to have a new chance. Accordingly, we do not need to conceal our faults or disguise ourselves with lies before God. When we repent, God gives us a new opportunity, and when we turn back, He helps with our transformation.
Israel under the Law failed to serve God. They refused to change, so God gave up His hope for them. He resumed the work they could not accomplish through the Christian church. He improved past limitations and entrusted to the church the ministry of blessing all nations. Therefore, let’s realize that we are members of the church and participate in this glorious struggle as the New Israel. Let’s no longer behave as God’s enemies like we used to, but fulfill our responsibility as spiritual priests. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of Israel, who failed to serve God, but offer ourselves to the calling of the New Israel.
Sermon by Overseer Sung-Hyun Kim
(Lord’s Day Service on March 27, 2022)