My first glimpse of the Grand Canyon shocked me. We pushed through some trees onto a narrow cliff jutting out over a 500-foot drop overlooking the cavernous wonder. Despite my severe acrophobia I walked right out on the edge to savor the majesty.
I imagine the High Priest may have felt the same awe and wonder on the Day of Atonement when he entered into the presence of Almighty God. The High Priest had to push through a tall, thick veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple. Jewish tradition says the veil was 60′ tall, 20′ wide and as thick as a man’s hand. The High Priest needed help from other priests to push through it and enter God’s presence.
We have a veil too. It’s coarse, thick and sinewy, made of self and flesh. Thick cords of sin and idols and indifference weave through the ugly tapestry that separates us from sweet fellowship with God.
Pushing through our veil requires that we shed our guilt and shame, confess and repent, and abandon self and flesh. When we do, we enter into the awe and wonder of sweet, unencumbered fellowship with Almighty God.
It’s the same awe and wonder I felt when I stepped out onto that Grand Canyon cliff.