Father, Unveil Our Hearts
By Jennifer Slattery –
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split” (Matthew 25:41 NIV).
Most of us have heard that verse countless times. It occupies the chorus of songs and the the thrust of countless prose. Most likely we could quote it without much thought. In fact, I wonder if we’ve heard it so many times, the reality of what happened on the cross loses impact. We’ve grown so accustomed to the idea of “communing” with God, we forget what a privilege—no, miracle, it is.
To the first century Jew, the tearing of the temple curtain would have been a knee-knocking, mind-blowing, heart-stirring, worship-inducing event.
For centuries, they’d known God as the Holy One, Almighty, El Sheddai, the Creator of the heavens and the earth who, upon occasion, met with a few select men. Like Adam before the fall, or Noah, or Abraham and Moses. They remembered the Ark of the Covenant, which signified God’s presence, and the great care the priests had to take in transporting it. God wasn’t Someone they took lightly, nor someone they expected to commune with. Perhaps they dreamt of one day hearing God’s voice like the young boy Samuel did as he lay upon his mat, but that’s where their hopes remained—in their dreams.
Until one day a plain looking man claiming to be God hung upon a cross, and cried out to heaven with his dying breath. Those who gathered around Him—some mocking, some gawking, some crying—felt the earth beneath them tremble. Darkness fell over the land and then, with a mighty rip, the curtain barring sinful man from the Holy of Holies—the place where God Himself dwelled—ripped apart from top to bottom. The barrier erected centuries past severed before their very eyes.
Can you imagine what that would have felt like? The joy, fear, confusion that must have welled up inside them as they looked upon the curtain, now flayed open before them? After centuries of waiting, of praying, of dreaming, the God of their fathers said, “Come. I have removed the barrier. I want to commune with you like I did with Adam. I want to share my heart with you like I did with Abraham.”
God says the same thing to us today. He invites us to catch a glimmer of His glory, experiencing the awe those ancient Jews must have felt on that victorious day.
Let us not become so accustomed to the Christian phrases and hymnals that we lose sight of the miracle. The Creator of the Universe, the Holy One, asks us to come and sit at His feet. He’s taken away everything that would keep us from Him. If you’re a redeemed child of God, the only thing standing in the way of unhindered fellowship with your Creator are those things you allow. Today think upon the veil when it first tore and worship Christ afresh. Don’t let apathy or business rob you of the divine romance. Pause and ask God to unveil your heart, drawing you into His.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12 NIV).