“At The Cross”
“THE DEATH OF JESUS,” lV, Matthew 27:51) AND BEHOLD, THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE WAS RENT IN TWAIN (TORN IN TWO) FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM; AND THE EARTH DID QUAKE, AND THE ROCKS RENT (BROKEN); Exodus 19:18; Psalm 18:7.
John Gill’s Exposition Of The Bible – v51, And behold, the Veil of The Temple was rent in twain JUST AT THE TIME That CHRIST SPAKE WITH SO LOUD A VOICE, AND EXPIRED, AND WHICH WAS AT THE TIME OF THE OFFERING UP OF THE EVENING INCENSE; and so must be seen by the priest that was then offering, and those that assisted him, for the incense altar was near the Veil; and which must be a very astonishing sight unto them: the Veil was of a very great thickness; it was made of fine twined linen, ( Exodus 26:31 ) , and it is a rule with the Jews F20, that “where ever mention is made in the Law of fine linen, or fine twined linen, it means a thread six times doubled:” and whereas this was made of blue, and purple, and scarlet, Jarchi’s note on the place is, that “every kind was doubled with each thread of six threads.” His sense is more clearly expressed in his note on ( Exodus 26:1 ) , “lo! here are four sorts to every thread; one of linen, and three of wool, and every thread is six times doubled; behold four sorts when they are twisted together, make twenty four doubles to a thread.” from top to bottom; and which was no less than forty cubits in length, which was the height of THE HOLY OF HOLIES in The Second Temple; and which made the rent the more astonishing. The account the Jews give of the Veil, is this F23: “R. Simeon ben Gamaliel said, on account of R. Simeon, the son of the Sagan, the thickness of the Veil is an hand’s breadth, and it is woven of seventy two threads, and every thread has twenty four threads in it: it is forty cubits long, and twenty broad, and is made of eighty two myriads; (which is either the number of the threads in it, or the sum of the golden pence it cost. Some copies read, is made by eighty two virgins F24😉 two are made every year; and three hundred priests wash it.” The Syriac version renders it, “the face of the gate of The Temple”; by which may be meant, perhaps, the Veil of the gate of Ulam, or of the porch F25. The Jews have a tradition F26 that “forty years before the destruction of The Temple, the gates of it opened of themselves. R. Jochanan ben Zaccai reproved them, saying, O Temple! Temple! wherefore dost thou fright thyself? I know thy end is to be destroyed; for so Pprophesied of thee Zechariah, the son of, Iddo, “open thy gates, O Lebanon” ( Zechariah 11:1 ) .” THIS RENDING OF THE VEIL WAS DONE, AS SOME THINK, IN TOKEN OF MOURNING FOR, AND TESTIFYING ABHORRENCE OF THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST; THE TEMPLE RENDING ITS GARMENTS, THE VEIL, AT THE DEATH OF ITS LORD, PROPRIETOR, AND TYPE, as the high priest did his at supposed blasphemy; SHOW THAT THE LORD, WHO HAD TAKEN UP HIS RESIDENCE IN THE MOST HOLY PLACE BETWEEN THE CHERUBIM, OVER THE MERCY SEAT, IN THICK DARKNESS, WAS NOW ABOUT TO REMOVE, AND LEAVE THE HOUSE DESOLATE; O IT SIGNIFIED THE RENDING O CHRIST’S FLESH, THE BREAKING OF HIS BODY FOR US, WHICH WAS TYPIFIED BY THE VEIL; see ( Hebrews 10:20 ) , AND MAY ALSO DENOTE BOTH THE FULFILLMENT AND ABROGATION (REPEALING) OF THE CEREMONIAL LAW, WHICH HAD ITS END IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST; AND LIKEWISE THE MORE CLEAR DISCOVERIES OF THE MYSTERIES OF GRACE UNDER THE GOSPEL, IN WHICH THEY ARE LAID TO OPEN VIEW, AND ARE BEHELD WITH OPEN FACE: TO WHICH MAY BE ADDED, THAT THIS POINTED OUT, THAT THE WAY TO THE HOLIEST OF ALL, TO HEAVEN, ON WHICH THIS WAS A FIGURE (CHRIST THE CENTRAL FIGURE OF CHRISTIANITY), WAS NOW MADE MANIFEST (CLEAR); AND WAS PLAIN AND ACCESSIBLE, AS IT WAS, FIRST TO CHRIST, WHO ENTERED BY HIS OWN BLOOD, AS THE FORERUNNER; AND ALSO TO HIS PEOPLE, WHO LIKEWISE HAVE BOLDNESS TO ENTER BY THE SAME. And the earth did quake: whether this earthquake reached only to the spot of ground where CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED, and on which the city and Temple of Jerusalem stood; or whether it extended to other parts of the earth; since, in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, as Pliny F3 relates, there was an earthquake, in which twelve cities in Asia fell, is not certain. However, it was an indication of THE DIVINE ANGER AND RESENTMENT, AND IN DESTATION OF THE SIN OF CRUCIFYING CHRIST; see ( Psalms 18:7 ) , and was an EMBLEM (SIGN) of the shaking and removing of the Jewish church state and ordinances, ( Hebrews 12:26 Hebrews 12:27 ) . And the rocks rent; which were near Mount Calvary, and about Jerusalem; and, as we are told, the clefts are to be seen to this day, and which appear to be SUPERNATURAL. THIS WAS ALSO A TOKEN OF DIVINE WRATH AND FURY. ( Nahum 1:5Nahum 1:6 ) , and a Rebuke of the Stupidity and Hardness of the Jews, who were unmoved when rocks were rent asunder, being harder than they; and an EMBLEM (SIGN) Of The Future Conversion Of Many Through The Powerful Ministry Of THE WORD, And In Consequence Of CHRIST’S DEATH; when hearts, as hard as rocks, were broke in pieces, stony hearts taken away, and hearts of flesh given; of which the three thousand being pricked to the heart under Peter’s sermon, were an instance.