Believe it or not, my husband’s mandatory high school Home Economics class included sessions on sewing.

While my manly, future husband was learning to sew and cook, I was at a different high school signing up for Lifetime Sports. However, my mom did teach me to sew and it soon became clear I wasn’t a natural. When your most valuable sewing tool is a seam ripper, you’re in trouble.

Adam and Eve were the opposite. They chose to get into trouble and then began sewing!

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:7)

Seriously, I hold family and friends in high regard who enjoy sewing and delight in their handiwork. Among the most humbling and holy experiences I’ve known have been placing my mom’s homemade quilts into the hands of those who were destitute.

Yet no matter our strengths or weaknesses, we sin—like Adam and Eve—and often appropriate “damage control” measures.

* * *

God had a much superior solution to Adam and Eve’s sin problem than the sewing together of fig leaves. And He has a better solution to our sin than the attempts we make to cover up or ignore it.

“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21). God intervened. He knew what they needed in their fallen state and made provision for them; not only physically, but spiritually. The consequences of sin would remain, yet He pronounced judgement on Satan and gifted the guilty pair with both forgiveness and the assurance of the coming One we now know as Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

And what does Jesus have to do with our sins and need for forgiveness?

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)

Just as those receiving my mom’s quilts did not have the ability to make adequate provision for themselves or their families, we cannot cover up our sins or work to “pay them off”. Our collective need as descendants of Adam and Eve is that of intervention. A substitute sacrifice for sin. A Redeemer.

* * *

Although the Bible doesn’t specify its occurrence, a “crisis” undoubtedly arose for the unbelieving Jewish leaders at the time of Christ’s death—which also resulted in an immediate, perceived need for… sewing.

In Matthew 27:50-51  we read, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”

As shared in our blog The Kindness of God, there was within the temple a veil which separated everyone from the Holy of Holies, where God chose to dwell on earth. No one could go beyond it, with one exception. Once per year the High Priest was responsible to make preparation and enter to make atonement for the sins of the people before God.

This veil was not your standard living room curtain; it was finely and intricately woven, believed to have been nearly sixty feet high and in the neighborhood of four inches thick!

And here it was, torn in two by an unseen power—from top to bottom. Almighty God’s Holy of Holies was suddenly exposed, in plain sight.

Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness before God. And now? The religious leaders who had hardened their hearts from believing Jesus was the Lamb of God (despite specific prophecies such as Isaiah 53 and as attested to by John the Baptist and Christ Himself), found themselves with a significant problem.

Their religious world just turned upside down.

* * *

Have you ever wondered what the priests were thinking when the veil was torn in two? What they did?

It’s good to imagine the possibilities as long as we don’t make them a part of our theology. For example:

* * *

It is possible the temple priests in Jerusalem had been having an exhausting day. It was Passover, the city was packed with worshippers, emotions were running high over the crucifixion of Jesus the Nazarene (which was in process), and a horrible, literal darkness had inexplicably covered all the land from about noon to three. We can imagine the priests’ tasks having become nearly impossible to carry out and a number of sacrificial lambs escaping during the thick darkness. We know many of the leaders who should have been helping in the temple or observing the Passover were outside the city, hurling insults at the man on the cross they hated who claimed to be the Son of God. The pitch blackness had finally lifted and the temple priests likely gathered their wits in an attempt to finish out the day.

Then, it happened…

The temple veil was instantaneously ripped apart by an unseen power—from top to bottom.

[Priest “Ahijah”, in terror]: “Ahhhh! The… veil!

[Priest “Joash”, ashen and trembling]: “The Holy of Holies! We’re… we’re dead men!

[Priest Ahijah, whirling around]: “Turn your back! We… we must not look!”

[Priest Joash, turning and falling to his knees, in shock]: “But did you see that? How… how did that happen?

[Priest Ahijah, still terrified]: “It’s not possible! But yes… I saw! The veil was… ripped … from top to bottom! Oh, we will surely die!”

[Priest Joash, white of face and staggering back to his feet]: “I… I saw it! Torn, like you say. Instantly! Almost violently! Like there were giant… unseen hands that ripped it… in two!”

[Priest Ahijah, fighting hysteria]: “What do we tell the High Priest? What is happening? Surely we are doomed!”

[Priest Joash]: “Listen! Do you hear that, Ahijah? People are shouting outside, screaming. Listen!”

The priests, clinging together for support, fearfully move to the outer court only to view and hear utter chaos.

[Priest Joash, turning to his fellow priest with wide, traumatized eyes]: “They’re shouting that Jesus the Nazarene just died!”

[Priest Ahijah, in a hoarse whisper]: “When it was pitch black for hours… I didn’t say it.  But… do you think it was because Jesus was being crucified? What is happening?!”

[Priest Joash, mortified]: “I don’t know! The people are screaming about an earthquake! Rocks splitting!”

[Priest Ahijah]: “Yet the temple is intact… and look! More Passover lambs are running loose! And the veil, my brother! What are we to do?!

* * *

Whatever it was like, the priests and religious leaders were faced with a choice: To acknowledge Jesus as Messiah—the Passover Lamb slain for sinners—and repent from their sin or further harden their hearts and begin damage control.

Some, but not all, opted for damage control (see Well, THAT Didn’t Work…).

What we can surmise is that, at some point in time, the torn veil was taken down and one or more people began the herculean task of trying to sew it back together.

* * *

And now, the facts.

Jesus triumphed over the sin DNA of Adam and it’s curse on mankind once and forever (Romans 5:18-19; Hebrews 9:12).

Bearing the wrath of God for our sins, He exchanged our unrighteousness for His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God approved of Jesus’ atoning work on the cross and the veil of separation between God and man was torn apart (Matthew 27:50-51, Ephesians 1:20).

Through Jesus, anyone may come directly into God’s holy presence and become an heir with Christ (John 3:16; I Peter 1:3-5).

My friend… we don’t have to sew anything!

We just bring the sin and embrace God’s remedy.

* * *

This is the Christ whose birth we celebrate. God the Son, born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life and gave it as a ransom for many. He died, was buried, and rose victorious over the grave three days later. He lives to intercede for those who believe in His finished work for salvation and clothes them in His righteousness.

Can you echo the words of Isaiah, who prophesied centuries in advance of the arrival of our glorious King of kings?

“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10).

* * *

Oh, Hallelujah—and what Joy to the World!

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

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