This week we have been enjoying the spiritual significance of the two veils in the tabernacle (called the screen and the veil) and how they are related to the two aspects of reconciliation Paul speaks of in 2 Cor. 5.
Both the screen (covering the entrance to the Holy Place) and the veil (covering the entrance to the Holy of Holies) were made of blue, purple, and scarlet strands and fine twined linen, and they were hung upon pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold, standing in sockets of silver (see Exo. 26).
Our God is an enterable God: He originally dwelt in unapproachable light, but in His economy He has become enterable; through incarnation He brought God into man, and through His death and resurrection He brought man into God so that God and man would dwell together.
Through man’s fall, all men have become sinners and enemies of God; because of God’s righteousness, God can’t just forgive us simply because He loves us – the righteous requirements of God have to be satisfied in order for us to be acceptable to God.
Christ, the Son of God, has come to be a man, and as a Man in the flesh He died for us as the perfect sacrifice; the Righteous One died on behalf of the unrighteous, and now whoever believes into Him is justified and reconciled to God.
Through our believing into Christ we are washed by the blood of Christ, justified before Him, and reconciled to Him so that we may enter into God, that is, enter into the Holy Place of His dwelling place where we can enjoy God in Christ as our supply.
From the Holy Place, however, God wants us to be reconciled further to Him; He wants us to enter into the Holiest of all, the innermost part of God, where we can enjoy God by being in God. Therefore, on the cross Christ died not only for our sins but for us, the sinners – the persons; He Himself was made sin on our behalf, so that we may become the righteousness of God in Him.
Now all believers in Christ need to come forward to the Holy of Holies; there’s a call for us all to be further reconciled to God, that is, to be saved much more in His life (Rom. 5:10).
What we see in reality spiritually in the New Testament as the two steps of reconciliation we can see in type in the Old Testament with the veil and the screen in the tabernacle.
The Screen and the Veil are Related to the Two Aspects of Reconciliation in 2 Cor. 5
Paul was entrusted by God with the ministry of reconciliation; God has reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus Christ dying on the cross, and He wants to further reconcile the believers who live in the flesh to Himself so that they may enter deeply into God and live one spirit with Him.
The following footnote is detailing the two aspects of reconciliation spoken of in 2 Cor. 5:18-21 and how they relate to the veil and the screen in the Old Testament:
In the preceding verse it was the world that was reconciled to God; in this verse it is the believers, who have already been reconciled to God and are to be reconciled further to God. This clearly indicates that two steps are required for men to be fully reconciled to God. The first step is to reconcile sinners to God from sin. For this purpose Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3) that they might be forgiven by God. This is the objective aspect of Christ’s death. In this aspect He bore our sins on the cross that they might be judged by God upon Him for us. The second step is to reconcile believers living in the natural life to God from the flesh. For this purpose Christ died for us — the persons — that we might live to Him in the resurrection life (vv. 14-15). This is the subjective aspect of Christ’s death. In this aspect He was made sin for us to be judged and done away with by God that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. By the two aspects of His death He has fully reconciled God’s chosen people to God. These two steps of reconciliation are clearly portrayed by the two veils of the tabernacle. The first veil is called “the screen” (Exo. 26:37, lit.). A sinner who was brought to God through the reconciliation of the propitiating blood entered into the Holy Place by passing this screen. This typifies the first step of reconciliation. The second veil (Exo. 26:31-35; Heb. 9:3) still separated him from God, who was in the Holy of Holies. This veil needed to be rent that the sinner might be brought to God in the Holy of Holies. This is the second step of reconciliation. The Corinthian believers had been reconciled to God, having passed through the first veil and having entered into the Holy Place. Yet they still lived in the flesh. They needed to pass the second veil, which had been rent already (Matt. 27:51; Heb. 10:20), to enter into the Holy of Holies to live with God in their spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). The goal of this Epistle was to bring them there that they might be persons in the spirit (1 Cor. 2:15), in the Holy of Holies. This was what the apostle meant by saying, “Be reconciled to God.” This was to present them full-grown in Christ (Col. 1:28). (2 Cor. 5:20, footnote 2, Recovery Version Bible)
There are two steps required for us to be fully reconciled to God: first the world is reconciled to Him, and then it is the believers who are further reconciled to God (see 2 Cor. 5:19-20).
These two steps or aspects of reconciliation are clearly seen as type in the two veils of the tabernacle: as sinners we are reconciled to God through the atoning blood of Christ so that we may enter through the screen in the Holy Place, and once we are there, we need to be further reconciled to God from living in the flesh through the riven veil to live with God in the mingled spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).
The first step was accomplished by God and applied to us at the time we believed into the Lord Jesus; at the time of our regeneration we were forgiven by God, freed from sin, washed in His blood, sanctified unto Him, and reconciled to God.
However, the second step of reconciliation takes a lifetime, since in our disposition and being we are still enemies of God, having many things that we need salvation of. Reconciliation to God through Christ in the first step has already been accomplished, and today we are in the process of being saved in Christ’s life from so many negative things.
Thank You God for initially reconciling us to Yourself through the blood of Jesus Christ; we were once enemies of God, but through the Lord’s shed blood we are now children of God, members of the household of God, sons of God! Praise the Lord, we have been forgiven, freed, washed, sanctified, justified, and reconciled to God! Lord, keep saving us much more in Your life from any negative thing. Further reconcile us to Yourself from living in the flesh to living one spirit with the Lord in our daily life!
The First Step of Reconciliation is to Reconcile Sinners to God from Sin
However, when we hear the gospel preached by those one with the Lord and we believe into the Lord, we are cleansed from our sins, we are washed by the blood of the Lamb, we are forgiven of our offenses, and we are reconciled to God. Christ died for our sins that they might be forgiven by God (see 1 Cor. 15:3; Luke 24:46-47; 1 John 2:12).
God can’t forgive us and impart His life into us simply because He loves us or because of grace; our God is righteous, and everything He does needs to be based on His righteousness. God’s forgiveness and reconciliation must be based on His righteousness; therefore Christ, the Righteous One, came and died in our place, and God righteously put Him to death on our behalf.
Now by our believing into the Son of God and receiving Him, God is bound by His righteousness to forgive us and justify us. Originally, we were not only sinners or but also enemies of God; through the redeeming death of Christ, God has justified us, the sinners, and reconciled us, His enemies, to Himself (see Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21-22).
The enemy of God, Satan, has injected himself into us, reproducing himself in our fallen nature, our flesh; at the very deep level – in our flesh – we are enemies of God, and our flesh is at enmity with God.
Nevertheless, God so loved the entire human race that He gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins and to reconcile His enemies to Himself; Christ made peace through the blood of His cross.
This is the objective aspect of Christ’s death; in this aspect He bore our sins on the cross that they might be judged by God upon Him for us (1 Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53:11-12; Heb. 9:28; Col. 1:22; Rom. 8:3).
Hallelujah, Christ died for us, and through His death for our sins we are cleansed, forgiven, justified, and reconciled to God; we are reconciled to God through the death of His Son!
Thank You Lord for dying for us on the cross to reconcile us, enemies of God, to God from sin. Thank You for justifying us, the sinners, and reconciling us, Your enemies, to Yourself. We are filled with love and gratitude, Lord, when we look at Your perfect sacrifice on the cross, through which You made peace between us and God. Thank You Father for sending Your only begotten Son to die for us, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous. We now have peace toward God through Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ron K. for this week, and The Conclusion of the New Testament, msg. 128 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 43 / msg. 7, The Veil, the Screen, and the Two Aspects of Reconciliation.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Now we’re rejoicing, standing in grace, / Oh hallelujah! Sin is erased! / God, in us flowing, in our hearts growing, / We are saved in His life! (Hymns #1131)
# Thru Thy blood shed on the cross, / We are reconciled to God, / That the way to contact Him / May in peace by us be trod. / By partaking of Thy blood, / We have Thine eternal life; / In Thy blood and life received, / We have rest, free from all strife. (Hymns #224)
# To God I’m reconciled, / His pardoning voice I hear; / He owns me for His child, / I can no longer fear. / With confidence I now draw nigh, / And Father, Abba, Father, cry. (Hymns #300)
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