The Greatest Moment
Have you ever noticed that lives often change at pivotal moments in time? In the twinkling of an eye everything flips upside down. You’re driving along the highway, daydreaming about that vacation next month, then BOOM! In a moment life changes dramatically in an accident. Of course the same thing is true of good things. You’re desperately seeking a job, and all your attempts end in failure. Then RING! You get that phone call from a friend of a friend, and life changes dramatically. Those moments are “not as it looks” moments: At the time life looks bleak, or life looks great, but all is not as it looks; everything is about to change forever.
Today is Good Friday, the day our Lord, Christ Jesus, was crucified. That one day, that one moment when He said, “It is finished!” is the greatest “not as it looks” moment of all time. In that one moment the whole cosmos was turned upside-down.
If one views life through the one way mirror of this world, everything appears over. Jesus’ ministry appears to be finished and a failure. He is dead, never to breathe another word again. His disciples looked in that mirror and all they could see was the sorrow of their loss. They had spent three years with Jesus. He had taught them about great things, about the coming Kingdom of God and its blessings. They believed. They followed. They committed their lives to Him. And then, suddenly it all ended in a crash. Their beloved leader was killed. It was over.
The opposing side, however, must have sighed of relief, “Ah, at last we have succeeded in silencing this rabble-rouser Jesus who caused us so much trouble. We’re finally rid of him!” In their hearts they rejoiced. Perhaps they even congratulated each other for their success, for a job well done
Even if one believes that there is more to this world than meets the eye, Good Friday still appears a bleak day. There may be things we don’t know about this world, but one thing is certain: Death is final. It’s the end of the road. And Jesus the beloved teacher reached the end of that road. He died, yet the world seemed no different than a few moments before. The Kingdom He had promised to usher in had not arrived. He was just another man providing false hope in a long string of false teachers. After all, no one ever returns from death. What a disappointment!
Lastly, those who believe in that great cosmic battle of good and evil, those who have read the Book of Job and studied the Old Testament, those who were looking for a Messiah to establish an eternal kingdom here on earth had just witnessed the death of their presumed king. All those dreams – for they must have been only dreams never to come true – were dashed. How dejected, rejected, and despondent those believers must have felt!
And imagine the other side of that great cosmic battle. How the enemy, the supporters of the evil one, the hordes of Satan must have felt. “We have won! We killed him. Finally we have thwarted God. We have proven that He is a liar, that he is not all powerful as He claims. We win! We can now take our rightful place as rulers of this cosmos. It is finished.” Imagine how they made jokes about God, cheered, and rejoiced with high fives (if one can imagine demons rejoicing). It looked like evil had finally conquered good forever.
But all is not as it looks. For in that very moment, that single breath when Jesus uttered the word, “It is finished!” everything changed. We are told the veil (heavy curtain) separating the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place was torn in two from top to bottom. The whole world was turned upside down; the one-way mirror was turned around. We now have visibility past death; visibility we didn’t have before. We no longer see just our own faces and sorrow, but we can see that there is something more to life than death, that there is an eternity of joy awaiting us. We can now see – however faintly – the eternal glow of the light of the real world beyond our senses, the silhouette of our eternal future, the image of Jesus calling us from eternity. Will you answer the call?
All is not as it looks. Although it looks as if everything has been lost, in reality everything has been gained. There is more to life than death. Evil, sickness, sorrow, and death have been vanquished – even when it may seem otherwise. Put your faith in Jesus and rejoice, for victory is assured. And in three days, on Resurrection Sunday, we shall see the physical proof. Good Friday is indeed the greatest “all is not as it looks” moment of all time.
 See Mat 27:51, Mark 15:38, and Luke 23:45.
The veil symbolizes the separation of God and His dwelling place from humanity and our dwelling place. The Most Holy Place represented God’s dwelling place. The Holy Place, where God’s priests ministered, represented man’s dwelling place.
No one was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place except the High Priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, symbolizing our lack of direct access to the presence of God. The tearing of the veil symbolizes the end of that restriction as a result of the work of Jesus on the cross. Note that the veil was a very heavy curtain, and it was torn from top to bottom (from God to man), not the other way around, symbolizing that it was an act of God, not of any man. See http://cbumgardner.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/the-thickness-of-the-temple-veil/ for a good discussion of the veil.
Note also that the enemies of Jesus did not dispute the fact of the tearing of the veil at the time; that fact provides further evidence for the truth of the crucifixion account.