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My mother always used to change the curtains at Easter.
The curtains were there in winter to keep out the cold from the single-glazed windows of my coal-fired valleys home.
It was a spring-cleaning thing, a freshening up thing after the long cold, dust generating heating season to take down and wash the winter curtains and replace them with lighter, brighter curtains for the summer. It cheered everyone up.
There was a seasonal preference in soft furnishings in our house ... and the change-over happened at Easter, at the decree of my traditionally authoritative Welsh Mam: ' I think we'll change the curtains', she'd. Everyone was galvanised into action and a well-practiced family enterprise sprang to life.
It wasn't actually the dawn of Pasradise, but it certainly perked everyone's spirits up!
And that first Easter, at the Jerusalem Temple, soft furnishing changes were also instituted ... by a far higher hand even than my Welsh Mam's!
Was it palm trees and sandy beaches?
Was it hiking in the high hills?
What do YOU think of as Paradise, and how to you think you might get access to it?
Of course, this all assumes you would want 'Paradise'. Some seem to want to stay exactly were they are ... but it's an dea that's stuck around for a LONG time, going back to the most ancient civilisations.
And our Verse for the Day sounds as if it's about soft furnishings, but it's actually about opening up Paradise.
So what's all this stuff about a veil?
Shutting off the hot-spot of God's presence on earth
When Solomon had the Temple constructed , it says,
Those Cherubim on that veil in the Temple were there to guard the way to the red-hot hot-spot of the presence of the One Who becomes a dangerously holy God ... dangerous to sinful people whose sins aren't covered.
What happens in the Verse for the Day is that this guard set on the presence of God is removed, as the torn veil opens it out ... and the Holiest hot-spot presence of God, decorated with art that evoked the Garden of Eden, was opened ... access to Paradise was being restored on the Cross.
Eden opened ... access to Paradise restored
This is confirmed by the description of the damage: “from top to bottom.”
Notice also the extent of the destruction ... it was totally torn: Scripture says “torn in two.”
The angelic guardians are disarmed, from top to bottom, and re-entry into the Paradise presence of God is again lay open again ... for the first time since the Fall.
As Jesus dies on the Cross He pays the price of sin's separation from that soul-restoring presence of God.
And that is the central benefit for Christ's followers of His sacrifice.
Is that a reality we cherish and practice, and if so, how do we show it?