By Thomas Dreyer
This is a different perspective of The Cross and the tearing of The Veil. Much can be said about these events, but for this message the focus is on our human brokenness.
We are seemingly accustomed to a consumerist and material culture of old. This consumerist way of looking at the world is based on the idea that what I own or what I have is what defines me. On a much deeper level than that, what I own may make me whole. We might not be of this world, but we most certainly are in it. We are not immune to the world’s hurt and brokenness. As humans, we have holes, gaps, missing links and spaces within our hearts and minds that have been put there due to the world’s brokenness. This gap may be created by a loved one or a stranger. It may be due to a hurtful parenting style or simply people we encounter. The bottom line is that we all have these gaps. Some gaps larger than others and some more than others. We have a longing to be whole and complete.
Within psychology, this is where desires start. Our dreams and desires are more often than not based on perhaps an intangible lack we experience. We are easily tricked into thinking that marrying someone, getting the next project or promotion, acquiring a certain property, etc. will help us fill a gap. Perhaps it is to prove that we can or simply to increase our happiness. Let us call these goals or objects that we chase the object of desire. Taking away this object of desire might make one feel that wholeness or that happiness is now forever out of reach. That is at least until the next object of desire is found.
Take some time and look at the dreams, desires and aspirations you have. Be honest with yourself and ask, “Upon what are they based?” “What would it mean to you to get or acquire these things or goals and why?” “What in essence then is your object of desire?”
Now keep all of this in mind and let us reflect on the time Jesus walked through the streets of Jerusalem. At this point the temple is still standing. The Holy of Holies where The Ark of The Covenant once resided is actually empty. The Ark is gone, as it was taken by the last enemy that invaded Israel, but all rituals and sacrifices continued as usual. The religious façade did not stop. Many Israelites did not know The Ark was missing. They could not see behind The Veil that separated The Holy from The Holy of Holies and so to them, this shrine of GOD’S pure presence was still there. The object of their wholeness and completeness was still behind that Veil. That was their object of desire.
Now try to understand then the upheaval that occurred when Jesus walked by and stated that this temple will be broken down and that he will rebuild it in three (3) days. The rebuilding was not the focus of these words, because most Israelites in hearing distance would just have heard the first part with the dreadful thought of losing their object of desire.
What we find on The Cross in the final moments is priceless. The Veil is torn, and behind it, the gap where The Ark stood is revealed. The object of desire to all these Israelites was revealed to be non-existing. What many failed to realize, was that the presence of GOD that they were chasing behind The Veil now hung on The Cross.
Have you ever chased a new car, promotion or goal of any sort just to reach it or get it and then realize that the joy it brings is fleeting? Each promotion, each goal that you thought was once the ultimate, just becomes another reached goal and the next is needed to again feel that joy or sense of accomplishment. The reason for this is simple, because no worldly accomplishment or goal can ever fill the gap. The entire idea of a sacred object is that it does not really exist within itself. The sacred object only exists within the expectations we set for it. Any goal or object is simply that, an object or a title. None of these goals or objects has real value but the value that we ascribe to them. A sacred object binds us to a wild goose chase each time. This is exactly the point GOD is making during The Crucifixion.
It took GOD’S presence from an inanimate object to a tangible reality in order to show to us that the chase for our sacred objects is all in vain. The only one that can fill the gap, make us whole, complete us and give us everlasting joy, is GOD Himself. This is what it means to be truly free. To not be trapped in the worldly lies that wholeness and wellbeing can be found in the next desired object, but that GOD completes and fulfils all. Within this freedom, we can live to our full potential knowing that we can chase those goals and accomplishments, not because we will find fulfilment in them, instead because we can honor Jesus’ Name through them.