shalt make a veil... and the veil shall separate unto you between the holy place
and the most holy." Ex. 26:31-36.
"And behold, the veil of the temple was rent
in two from the top to the bottom..." Matt. 27:46-51.
The object of our meditation is: Jesus Christ
in heaven as our Sufficiency. We have already seen that our Lord Jesus'
resources came from His Father when He was here on this earth. He voluntarily
lived in a state of absolute dependence on Him. He willed it to be so. He
refused to have anything in Himself. Everything He needed He drew from heaven;
He received it from above.
When we are in resurrection-union with Christ,
the Holy Spirit brings us into oneness with Him who is in heaven for us. That
means: all the resources upon which the Lord Jesus lived are at our disposal.
These resources were secret resources, that is, they were unknown to the world.
The people around Him were absolutely in the dark as to the source of His power.
There was a secret relationship between Him and His Father which impressed them.
They saw that there was something in the background of His life, a mysterious
power and knowledge, which was not ordinary to man. He had a whole set of
resources at His command which no one possessed. He had a knowledge which was
far beyond man's understanding. And because He lived a secret life, a life in
His Father, His resources were mysterious and wonderful to men.
If we live in heavenly union with Jesus Christ
by the Holy Spirit, the same resources are at our disposal. Let us remind
ourselves of the Word which is at the basis of our meditation: "The Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
heavenlies in Christ." That means that all the resources which are in Christ
are available for us. But we have to learn to live in such close fellowship with
Him as He lived with His Father in the days of His flesh.
Now let us look at some of these secret
resources and turn to Hebrews 9:3-4: "And after the second veil, the
tabernacle which is called the Holy of holies". We have here the tabernacle
as it was in the earth, with its holy place and its most holy. The holy place
represented the earth. There we have the candlestick, the altar of incense, and
the table of showbread, pointing - in type - to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now Jesus
Christ has gone through the veil into the place of future realities, where
everything is Christ, Christ All and in all. Heaven is open since Christ rent
the veil. For the natural man heaven is closed. This includes not only the
heaven we may go to one day, but it represents a sphere, the present realm of
God's activity, which we can share in union with Him.
We too, have an open heaven. Paul says: "Our
citizenship is in heaven"! If our walk on this earth is to be a heavenly
one, we must have an open heaven, for we are utterly dependent upon heaven for
spiritual blessing. The door of heaven is closed to the natural man. Even a man
like Nicodemus cannot see it, and even less enter it.
Let us repeat that the 'holy place' of the
tabernacle represents the earth, and the 'most holy place' heaven. In the one
place we have the types of heavenly things. In the other was God Himself.
Between the two was the veil. Death would meet anyone who would go through that
veil into the most holy place, except by God's special command.
The letter to the Hebrews tells us further that
that veil was a type of Christ's flesh. There are two sides in the person of our
Lord Jesus Christ: an earthly side (towards the earth) and a heavenly one
(towards God). Between heaven and earth was the veil, and Christ's flesh was
that veil. When Jesus Christ died on the cross the veil in the temple was rent
from the top to the bottom. Now the types gave place to the reality. What was
but suggestive, pointing to God, passed away, and man was allowed to draw near
to God. The flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is speaking of human limitation which
formed a barrier between the realities of God and man. If we look into the holy
place of the tabernacle we have features and illustrations of heavenly things
because of man's limitation.
The whole of the Old Testament is giving us
these object lessons, because man by nature cannot enter into the realities of
divine things. God could speak to man about heavenly things only by way of
earthly representations. He had to teach man like one teaches a child, in giving
him these pictures and parables of divine things. That is the meaning of the
'holy place'. No one was allowed to enter through the veil, which separated the
holy place from the most holy, and which were types of earth and heaven.
Now Israel was to give by its life an
illustration, a pattern of the things of God. What happened to Israel is a
parable for us. Therefore Israel's history is so significant for us who, in the
light of the New Testament, are now enabled to see in these Old Testament types
as divine realities.
Once a year, on the day of the atonement, the
veil was lifted. After many preparations the high priest was allowed to enter
into the 'most holy place'. But it was only once a year and then it was closed
again. But the day of atonement spoke of something deeper in the intentions of
God. That day was pointing to the fact that, according to God's will, the veil
was not to remain for ever, but there would be an atonement through which heaven
was to be kept open for ever.
When Christ died on the cross the veil was
rent. What God had planned from before times eternal, was accomplished in Him.
Now the way to God is open for ever! In Christ the rent veil opened the way. He
had come in the flesh, as the Son of God, to do that work which no one could do.
In Christ risen there is no veil anymore. As Son of Man He accepted our human
limitation. As Son of Man He was the representative MAN. But as Son of God He
was linked with heaven. In His person He was the veil of the tabernacle. He
stood between heaven and earth. He stood between man's limitation and God's
fulness, between the types and the realities. When He lived among men, He spoke
in parables of heavenly things, because of the limitations of man who was unable
to apprehend them. So He brought heavenly things in earthly forms. He said: "If
I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you
heavenly things?" What He meant was: "If I have put heavenly things in the
form of earthly parables and types, and you have not understood, how will you
understand if I speak with you in a heavenly language!"
Now all these limitations are passed away.
Christ is in truth 'the way'. He has entered, through the veil of His
flesh, the innermost sanctuary, the most holy place, and opened the way. It is
Christ crucified who is the way for us into the immediate presence of God.
And when He says: "I am the truth", it
means: all that you see are but types and symbols serving as pictures. They are
not the heavenly things in themselves. HE is the reality of all these things. In
HIM we have the reality. The priests were occupied in the tabernacle, year in
year out, but their works were 'dead' works which could never lead to a living
union with God. Now Christ said: "I am the life". Only in Christ there is
life. The blood of goats and bulls and the life in that blood was only a
reminder, a type. No one but Christ can give life. HE is the living reality.
Now we see heaven and earth united in Christ
risen and ascended. He is the mediator. He is the ladder which Jacob saw in his
dream, and upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending. The Lord
referred to that when speaking to Nathanael, saying: "Ye shall see the heaven
opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
What was but a type at Bethel has become a living reality in Christ. He is
uniting heaven and earth. In Him - in the two sides of His nature - God and man
are brought together, heaven and earth are united. He is the way, the
only way of communication for heaven and earth. Union with Christ means to live
under an open heaven, in the presence of God, and in all the reality of the new
The Holy Spirit is given us on that ground. He
came upon the Lord Jesus after His baptism in the Jordan. The heavens were
opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Now Christ risen means an open
heaven. The Spirit of the Anointing comes upon us because the crucified One is
risen. He comes to us out of an open heaven which the Son of God has opened for
But what was the value of the anointing? It is
to bring us unto a heavenly union with God. The Lord Jesus said: "When he,
the Spirit... is come, he shall guide you into all the truth." And John
confirms this in saying: "The anointing which ye received... teaches you
concerning all things." That is represented by the angels ascending and
descending. The Holy Spirit is communicating with us, but Christ is the ladder,
reaching from earth to heaven. Where is that ladder? It is not in the world. The
ladder is set up in our hearts. It is Christ in our hearts. There is an open way
from heaven in our hearts, Christ Himself, leading us into the very presence of
God. The Holy Spirit moves in relation to Christ to bring us into communion with
Christ, just as Christ is in communion with His Father.
The all-sufficiency of Christ is secured for us
on that basis. We are in the heavenlies, because Christ is in us. If joined to
His person the limitations are gone. There is a direct and immediate communion
with God, and the Holy Spirit can reveal to us heavenly things.
Thus we understand what it means to receive
everything directly from God in Christ. Christ in us means an inward knowledge
of God, a heart-relationship with Him. It is an inward life from God, an inward
power of God. But that is a mystery which the world does not and cannot know. It
cannot understand that our Lord Jesus was willing to accept exactly the same
basis of life with its limitation in which we live, although without sin. Yet,
in fellowship with His Father, He continually broke through these limitations,
and overcame them in drawing all His provision, all the fulness from His Father
alone. His sufficiency was in His Father.
So we are called to live, by the Spirit, a life
triumphant over all our weaknesses, a life where Christ is everything, and where
His victory is our victory. The work of the Cross is finished. The veil is rent.
The way is open.
Thus Christ risen in heaven means for us an
open heaven where everything is possible for us in Christ, that we may glorify
Him. All things are given us in Him. And it is the anointing which teaches us