Have you ever been separated?
Or a desire?
Separation is a part of life. We have all experienced various times when there is a space between us and something we want. That space between us and whatever it is we desire, is separation. The word separation is most frequently used in the context of marriage. Things aren’t going so hot, in fact, they are going terribly. You aren’t ready to file the divorce papers, but you can’t be anywhere near that person.
So you separate.
You create a space between the two of you.
Separation isn’t exclusive to failing marriages.
We see separation in all kinds of other things.
And on and on.
Something exists between you and those things that you desire.
An argument in your friendship,
Not enough support to chase your dream or desire,
Not enough time worked to accumulate vacation days,
Not enough in your 401K to retire,
Not enough, Not enough, Not enough.
These “not enoughs” are your separation. I would argue that separation is the cause of all pain and sadness. Think of a couple of times in life when you have been most down, the times in life when you have been on the bottom end of life. Why did this happen? Why did you feel this way? You were separated from something you wanted. That person just walked out, your application just got turned down, your last kid has moved out, you didn’t get the raise.
In the moments of lost,
You are made aware of your separation.
Your separation exists like a veil, hanging up, obscuring what you desire.
“You shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman. “You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, their hooks also being of gold, on four sockets of silver. “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies. Exodus 26
This little piece of the bible paints a picture of separation.
Separation between humans and god.
The most painful separation.
This idea of separation between us and God was seen throughout the part of the bible called the “old testament,” the part of the bible before Jesus came onto the scene. In this old part of the bible the idea of separation is just a fact of life. People built their entire lives around the idea of breaking through that separation. They would sacrifice animals on an altar to cover the parts of themselves that caused the separation to exist.
Have you ever changed yourself to make someone else happy?
Have you ever altered your beliefs or ideas to fit in better?
Have you ever changed your daily schedule to get a job you want?
You sacrificed a piece of yourself that was causing separation.
You killed a piece of who you are,
To reconcile separation,
To bridge the gap,
To replace separation with unity.
If you’ve ever done that, and I imagine you have, you understand sacrifice. Even if you can’t understand killing an animal and burning its body on an altar (I certainly hope that’s hard for you to understand) you can understand the concept of sacrifice.
Animals and alters were replaced.
In their place came,
Jesus and a cross.
One last sacrifice.
The separation was over.
After Jesus died something happened,
And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. Matthew 27
That little verse changes everything
That little verse brings me to tears
That little verse is what Jesus accomplished.
That little verse is the most profound statement in the scriptures.
The separation is over.
The veil was torn.
The physical representation of the separation between God and man was torn, in two, from top to bottom.
The separation is over.
What do we do with this?
Why is it important that the veil is gone?
Why is it important that the space between us and God has been removed?
Now, we are free to know God, in the fullest way. We are free to interact with God, at any time. We are free from separation, forever.
The veil in the temple had been a testament to God being in one place, and man being in another place. When Jesus, in his death, tore the veil. That ended. The idea of God over there, and man over here, died. That’s what Jesus killed in his death.
We are no longer separated from God.
The space between us has been eliminated.
All around us, everywhere, is God.
Flowing, humming, pounding, charging, energizing, speaking, teaching, and loving.
Everywhere, all at once.
That is what Jesus did. He opened the door to the temple, he allowed our understanding of God to flow out from a single place, and into everything. He removed the division between the spiritual and the ordinary. He opened our eyes to the full scope of who he is. The boundaries we had imposed on the divine, were put into the light, and shown to be frail.
God is not restrained by our boundaries,
He never was,
Jesus demonstrated it.
We can feel God,
Everywhere, all the time.
This is the ultimate beauty of Jesus.
Instead of God being over there, He is in everything.
Instead of God being distant, He is close.
Instead of being behind a veil, He is with us.
Ahead of us,
Calling us to him.