Why was the veil torn?

You know, the one after the earthquake when JESUS gave up the GHOST after HE said “it is done” on the cross.


I am wondering why you ask. Generally most Christian agree on the reason for it, it is what we believe and our response to it that often differs.

If you want a purely objective scriptural treatment to your question, it would be better served in the Sacred Scripture section. People there will handle this subject better.

This topic is widely available in the internet but my simple personal answer to it is that **it signifies the end of the separation of God and man because of sin. **

How people were struck dead if they should accidentally touch the Ark of the Covenant. The widely circulated story notwithstanding, at least among some Catholics circle, that the high priest who could only come into the holy of hollies once a year to offer atonement for the sin of Israel, would had his leg tethered to a rope so that in case he died while inside and nobody else could come in, his body would be pulled out with the rope from the other end. Maybe it sounds funny today but that the reality of the physical separation of the divine.

Jesus death on the cross broke that schism and now we can enter the throne of grace and meet God face to face because our sins have been paid for by the Lamb of God offered at Calvary.

God bless.


It not surprising;
Jewish fathers would tear their garments at the death of a child.
Christ, the Son of God, died.
Yet another sign to the Jews that were present.

I will post my personal understanding of the reason the veil was torn.

We need to look back to Moses when he built the first Tabernacle in the desert after the Israelites were taken out of Egypt by GOD.

GOD made a covenant with Moses and the Israelites, in it HE promised to remain, “dwell” with the Israelites and instructed Moses to build the Ark of the Covenant. Placing within it the stone tablet of the 10 Commandments, a vase containing some manna and the staff of Moses.

When the first Temple was built by King Salomon, we read that the Ark was moved to the Holy of Holies and only the High Priest could enter it and then only once a year to take the sin offering to atone for the sins of Israel.
At the moment Jesus dies on the cross, the veil of the Holy of Holies is rent from top to bottom, that veil was the door. Jesus had prophesied the Temple would be destroyed as it in fact was destroyed around the year 70. GOD no longer dwelled in the Holy of Holies HE had left that Friday afternoon.

I liked what I heard from Father Baron’s podcast the other day. I think it was an older homily.

But essentially, it went something like - previously only the select few could enter the holy of holies, after, all could see what was behind the cloth.

Symbolizing the Covenant Jesus’ action was for ALL people.

Previously, it seemed access was for the few, but God wanted everyone to know He was there for ALL.

At least that’s what I got out of it.

I figured you started this thread for opinions vs a textbook answer.

Yes, like when Jacob thought that Joseph was dead. Its a sign of grief.

I always understood it being the end of separation between sinful man and God.

However, looking at the few answers already given, it appears that three possible answers are (and likely not mutually exclusive answers):

  1. To signify the end of separation between man and God with the ultimate sacrifice being offered, Jesus, the Perfect Lamb
  2. As a sign of God’s grief that his child died
  3. God left the Holy of Holies

Frankly, #3 confuses me a bit……

My understanding is like the others who have posted. Because of sin, man was not holy enough to be in the presence of God. The veil was meant to separate the holy of holies (where the presence of God existed) from the sinfulness of man. Once Jesus paid the price for sin, that separation was no longer necessary and was removed by God. The door to heaven was now open for mankind.

My understanding is that the temple was the place for sacrifices in order to atone for the sins of the individuals bringing the animal to be sacrificed. The shedding of the blood was to atone for the sins.

When Christ did die on the cross His actions there was the final sacrifice - He had accomplished what God had foretold in Genesis 3:15. The veil was torn because there was no need for His people to bring sacrifices - the Messiah had done it all.

That must have been one awesome afternoon with all of what had gone on and to have the afternoon turn dark, experience a terrific earthquake and to find that the veil had been torn. Can you imagine what the priests in the Temple were feeling when that happened? Scary and awesome!!

God bless, all!


*That must have been one awesome afternoon with all of what had gone on and to have the afternoon turn dark, experience a terrific earthquake and to find that the veil had been torn. Can you imagine what the priests in the Temple were feeling when that happened? Scary and awesome!!"

the point raised is an important one-given this would be a monumental occurrence why did not the Priests react more publicly or write it down or refer to it in anyway-Josephus did not write about it-? -I agree that it is a metaphor-perhaps the writers of the Gospels used it as such and it never happened at least in the physical sense

this one always bothered me-also note the Ark was long gone from the Temple at the time of the Crucifixion with no mention of it in hundreds of years

Metaphor? Perhaps not.

It was descriptive, right after Jesus yielded up his spirit.

…50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;…(Mt 27:50-52)

And there were witnesses at least on the earthquake. If Jesus final breath brought about an earthquake, imagine something like what happened in Nepal just this week, then it would not be a surprise that the curtain in the temple would be torn too.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Mt 27:54)

But it is hard to believe and historians, understandably do not write something like this. Would they write about the great flood or the parting of the Red Sea? Unless they saw with their own eyes, they would probably not.

Yes, that is a challenge indeed for the modern believers.


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