When I was young, my church’s youth group took a trip to see one of those strong man demonstrations. You know the one when they break stacks of bricks with their elbows and forearms, where they bend iron rods, and fold up frying pans like they were the morning newspaper. The thing that always fascinated me was when they would tear a whole telephone book in two. They would make it look so easy as if they were tearing apart a single piece of paper.
This reminds me of the fact that when Jesus died, the curtain in the temple that separated people from entering into the Most Holy place was torn in two from top to bottom. This is so important that three out of four gospels recorded it. (See Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, Luke 23:45) Now the Most Holy place was only allowed to be entered once a year by the high priest and was believed to be where God dwelled. So the significance of the curtain being torn was to announce to everyone that man was no longer separated from God and that we all can have access to Him. The writer of Hebrews says it this way “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may find mercy in times of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
But I believe there is a reason why Matthew, Mark, and Luke mention that the curtain was torn from top to bottom. I believe the curtain being torn from the top to bottom signifies that God came to man through the person of Jesus. So many times we try with all our striving to get to God but the truth of the matter is there is nothing we can do to get to God. We always fall short. No matter how many degrees we can achieve, we fall short. No matter how many zeros we add to the right of our bank account, we fall short. No matter how high we can climb up the proverbial ladder, we fall short. Paul writes it this way “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
So quit your striving and start surrendering today.