Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Temple Veil & Garment Symbolism

19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (Hebrews 10:19-20)
Here Paul speaks of how Christ made it possible for us to enter into heaven, which is symbolized by entering into the holiest (holy of holies) through the veil of the temple.  Paul also shows that the veil becomes symbolic of the flesh of Christ that was torn for us.

Hugh Nibley in his article “Worthy of Another Look: Classics from the Past: The EarlyChristian Prayer Circle”  talks about the cosmic veil that is appropriately adorned with marks and emblems, and in his article “Sacred Vestments” he talks about these same marks present on sacred garments of very early Christians.  There is a certain symbolism to consider through these corresponding marks. 

It makes the sacred garments a sort of temple veil, which the initiate carries about with him as a second skin, so that in essence one lives perpetually at the temple veil, standing in a holy place anywhere one is, ready to speak (pray) to the Lord with full confidence of being heard and answered.     
And too, since the veil symbolizes Christ’s flesh (or skin), we put on Christ and we try to make our lives match His, while He covers us with His atonement.

One is also reminded with this second skin that passing through it will happen at death.
Living so near the veil can remind us how close we are to crossing over into the next world, which should help us appreciate the importance of never procrastinating our repentance.