Torn Curtain - II (Haydock on Mt 27:51)

(Many thanks to jpy15026 for providing this - :thumbsup: )

Matt 27:51
The veil of the temple was rent.

As there were in the temple two parts of the sanctuary, so there were two veils, or partition walls. The first sanctuary, called the holy, was separated by a veil from that part of the temple called the court of the Israelites. Into this outward sanctuary, called the holy, entered every day the priests that were in office. The second interior sanctuary, called the holy of holies, was also separated from the outward sanctuary by another veil. And into this holy of holies, no one was to enter except the high priest, and he but once a-year. Both these veils seem to have been rent at Christ’s death: and by their being broken down, was signified first, that the ceremonies of the ancient law were to be abolished by the law of Christ; and also that heaven should be open to all.

The earth quaked.

How far this earthquake was extended, is uncertain.

The rocks were rent, and the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints… arose.

S. Jerome takes notice, that these saints did not rise with their bodies till after Christ was risen; and so it follows, that going out of the graves, after the resurrection, they came into the holy city, (i.e., into Jerusalem) and appeared to many.

Wi–This event was a prophecy of the fatal destruction that was shortly to fall upon the temple; and also, that it should henceforth give place to things more noble and sublime. It likewise shows the greatness of Christ’s power. (S. Chrys. hom. Lxxxix)

[quote=stumbler]S. Jerome takes notice, that these saints did not rise with their bodies till after Christ was risen; and so it follows, that going out of the graves, after the resurrection, they came into the holy city, (i.e., into Jerusalem) and appeared to many.
[/quote]

Huh? They went with Jesus to hear his preaching to the dead?

I heard recently that the earthquake was sufficiently severe to seriously damage some of the supporting structure of the Temple. In particular a main transverse beam was so damaged that the great chamber in which the Sanhedrin met to condemn Jesus was rendered unsafe and they never met in that room again.

According to the Antiquities of Josephus, himself a priest (Life 1), the tabernacle was effectively understood to be microcosm of the creation. Divided into three, the outer parts represented the sea and the land, while “the third part thereof … to which the priests were not admitted is, as it were, a heaven peculiar to God” (Ant. 3.181). This suggests that the temple curtain formed the boundary between earth and heaven: its destruction could be taken to signify the eruption of the heavenly world onto the earth (i.e. the arrival of the kingdom of heaven)
– Dominic Rudman, Biblica 84 (2003) 102-107

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