Matthew records another spectacular event at Jesus crucifixion for us
Matthew 27: 50-52 ( NLT )
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened.
From the Old Testament understanding the Veil was used to separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The instructions God provided in Exodus were for the veil to be made of purple and scarlet fine twisted linen and it was to hang as a partition between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place. The Holy Place contained the Alter of Incense, the lamp stand and the table for the bread of presence. The Most Holy Place contained the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. The veil was used as a door to access God and was only passed by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. The veil told sinful man that he could not approach God accept by God’s prescribed path thru the Priest. The priest could only enter with the blood of a substitute sacrifice and then only on the Day of Atonement. It was a constant reminder that sin separates man from God. There was and is only one way into God’s presence and that is by a blood sacrifice. Jesus death on the cross provided a final Atonement for all sin and provided a direct path to God. The writer of Hebrews clearly aligns this for us :
Hebrews 10:19-20 (NLT)
A Call to Persevere
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.
Hebrews 9:11-12 (NLT)
Christ Is the Perfect Sacrifice
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
The tearing of the veil from top to bottom was witnessed and recorded so it could be verified that it came from God and could not have been torn from the ground by man. Jesus’ life was the veil between a sinful man and a Holy God and thru his death and the shedding of His blood we gained direct access to God. His life is an example for us but it alone cannot save us. Salvation comes only under the shedding of His blood on the cross. The tearing apart of this veil gave everyone direct access to God that made the old way and the purpose of the old veil obsolete and no longer needed.