Is there any doubt that when the Temple was destroyed at the Crucifixion, the Jews believed that God lived in the Temple? This is the beginning premise for this article, so that you know my opening point of reference.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
In the Hebrew, the meaning of this word "train," according to Strong’s, is:
07757 shuwl shool
from an unused root meaning to hang down; TWOT-2346a; n m
AV-hem 6, skirt 4, train 1; 11
1) skirt (of robe)
1a) of high priest’s robe
1b) of God’s train, city as woman, ignominy, defilement (fig)
The Greek equivalent to this word "train" is as follows:
1391 doxa dox’-ah
from the base of 1380; TDNT-2:233,178; n f
AV-glory 145, glorious 10, honour 6, praise 4, dignity 2, worship 1; 168
Based upon the Greek and Hebrew, God’s hem is also His glory and part of HIS garment.
Not only is this a revealing of the Holy of Holies, but it was also for the Jew to SEE for themselves. If you delve into the Greek, and follow the sequence of the root meaning of "doza" above, it will finally bring you to the base of the word, which is:
1166 deiknuo dike-noo’-o
a prolonged form of an obsolete primary of the same meaning; TDNT-2:25, *; v
AV-show 31; 31
1) to show, expose to the eyes
2a) to give evidence or proof of a thing
2b) to show by words or teach
As I continue, I will presuppose that everyone reading this article knows, and acknowledges, the significance of "rending a garment." In the Jewish/Hebraic culture there is a precise meaning to this act:
There is a mitzvah upon seeing the site of the Temple (not only the Western Wall but also the whole Temple Mount) to rip ones garment, as a mourner does for a beloved one at a funeral. (Code of Jewish Law 561) This is called "tearing kriyah."
This rip, however, is not simply a mechanical act of tearing your clothes. Rather, tearing kriyah should help you to feel an emotional rift in the depths of your heart, as it is written: "Rend your hearts and not your garments" (Yoel/Joel 2.13). [Extracted from the AISH website. ED – underline added for emphasis.]
From the Jewish Book of Why published by Jonathan David Publishers, Inc.; revised 1995, 2000; page 59;
Why Do Mourners Tear Their Garments Before The Funeral Service? (Emphasis added)
The custom of tearing the garment of a mourner (called Keria in Hebrew) is of biblical origin. When Jacob saw Joseph’s bloodstained coat of many colors, his sons told him that Joseph was killed by a wild beast. Jacob reacted by tearing his garment. (Genesis 37:34)
The bible also describes how David tore his clothes when he heard of the death of King Saul. (II Samuel 1:11) And in the book of Job, Job is described as tearing his mantle when he begins to mourn the loss of his children. (Job 1:20)
As you might notice, the emphasis of mine "before the funeral" supports the fact that God "rent" HIS garment before the funeral also, as the curtain was torn right after Yehoshua [Jesus] died, but before He was buried. Once again, I must stress that the renting of the garment was for the Jews to see, as they would clearly understand the impact of what was happening. It should also be observed that the "renting" of the garment is from the top!!!!
The Scripture is customarily taught, from Mark, that there is a specific significance as to the rending of the veil of the Temple, when Adonai [Lord] gave up the ghost.
Mark 15:37-38 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
Many overlook the significance of the veil of the temple tearing from top to bottom. This is the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the inner court of the Temple. The veil was a curtain from floor to ceiling that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This veil was 60 feet high, 30 feet wide and 3 feet thick. It was no ordinary feat to tear it in two even if you started from the bottom rather than the top! Hebrew customs tell us that the veil was actually called the "hem of God's garment." At this point, please re-read the meanings that I’ve listed for the word "train" at the introduction of this article?
In ancient Israel, rending your clothing was what you did as a sign of mourning. A sign of grief mixed with deep regret. Rending your clothes was a ritual sign of heartbreak. Well, if the Temple was where God lived (and this was the belief of the time), the veil was God's garment. The rending of the veil was the rending of God's clothes (so to speak). It's a visible action of grief. At that very moment in time, He was mourning the loss of His Son, as haMashiach [the Messiah] willingly laid down His life for us!! I would never presume to know what was running through God’s mind at that moment, but I’d imagine He was thinking something along the lines of "Look! That’s My Son who’s being murdered over there!"
I’m sure you’ve heard of, or used, the term ‘heart-rending.’ God has displayed the prime example of that word and its usage.
1Ki 5:3-5 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.
But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.
And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name. [ED – emphasis added.]
1Ki 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. [ED – emphasis added.]
1Ki 8:16-19 Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.
And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.
And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.
Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name. [ED – emphasis added.]
I believe this settles the question as to whose house it is!!!!
You will note that the Centurions did NOT rend the garments of Mashiach [Messiah]. Have you ever wondered why?
John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
Explicit command had been given to Moses concerning this. The High Priest was never to have his clothes rent:
Leviticus 10:6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled.
Don’t think for one minute that they KNEW they were fulfilling Scripture! No, it was simply greed, and God fulfilled Scripture in the face of them:
Psalm 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Almighty God is so wondrous to be so detailed, as to differentiate between these two as separate pieces of clothing!
Although God performed this awe-inspiring act as a sign, and a visual for all to see during the Crucifixion, He has provided for us, a more excellent way:
Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord you God. — Joel 2:13
God always looks upon the heart, while the person who is governed by the sin nature will always focus their vision on the outward situation, circumstance, emotions, and even clothing.
Beloved, it’s long past the time that we should stop renting, and rather comply with complete ownership by the God of the whole earth, allowing Him to encompass our life. The renting is thoroughly finished, and God’s heart was filled with anguish, but Yehoshua [Jesus] bore that grief for us, that we are no longer obliged to rent, but can choose to wholly allow Him to be the owner of our life – completely.
1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? [HNV]
Dear Reader, I would encourage you this very day to bow your heart before the Throne of Grace, that the Master of all graces may indwell you richly, and fully, that His abundant mercies may engulf you. It’s time we all rend our hearts, rather than our garments.
Humbly submitted for the edification of the Saints
by Anna L. Schwery – © Yad b’Yad Ministries
Questions or comments? Contact the Author.