top of page
  • Writer's pictureVicar Matt Doebler

Matins Devotion: April 12, 2023


Our reading from the book of Hebrews this morning opens tells us that, because of Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice on the cross, we now have the right to approach God with the full confidence and assurance that we have been cleansed from all guilt.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us that the curtain of the Temple—that veil of separation which was meant to put distance between God’s holiness and the unclean hands of sinners—has been forever torn down by Jesus—our Great High Priest. The curtain is no longer necessary because the separation is no longer necessary. Jesus’ offering was completely sufficient to sprinkle our hearts clean from an evil conscience and to wash us pure from every stain.


You probably can recall that the rending of the temple curtain from top to bottom was one of those miraculous signs that happened at the moment when Jesus, from the cross, spoke the words, “It is finished” and gave up his spirit. But what you might not recall is the image that was to be embroidered on that curtain. In Exodus, God tells Moses that the curtain which separates the holiest space in the temple from the impurities of the people are to be decorated with the angelic figures known as cherubim.


The cherubim are always associated with God’s presence. And they are often pictured as the guardians of that presence. After Adam and Eve rebelled and sinned against God, they were expelled from God’s paradise—the place where they formerly experienced unbroken fellowship with God. The cherubim were tasked with guarding the gate to Paradise. They did so with a flaming sword. Announcing to anyone who approached that that way back into God’s paradise was forever shut to sinners.


Likewise, the embroidered cherubim on the Temple curtain and the carved cherubim on the lid of the ark of the covenant were visual reminders that the way to God’s presence and holiness was carefully guarded from the pollution of sin. Only once a year could the high priest approach—and even then, only through the sprinkling of blood could he approach and live.

But now the writer of Hebrews is explaining to us that the cherubim no longer stand guard. The curtain has been torn. The flaming sword has been extinguished by the blood of Jesus. We sinners no longer have to be kept at a distance from God’s holy presence. Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has reopened the way back to God—the way back to Paradise.


Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia.

Recent Posts

See All

Matins Devotion: May 20, 2024

Numbers 22:1-20 Martin Luther once said, “even the devil is God’s devil.” That is to say, while the devil wars against God, God always keeps him on a leash. Satan can’t destroy any more than what God

Matins Devotion: May 16, 2024

Luke 20:19-44 At the end of Christ’s earthly ministry, His enemies are so frothing mad that they’ve become complete idiots, for lack of a better way to put it. For three years, Jesus has been dominati

Matins Devotion: May 15, 2024

Luke 19:29-48 “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace.” So says Jesus about His beloved but rebellious city of Jerusalem in our reading from Luke 19 today. And

Comments


bottom of page