The curtain divided the most holy place, sometimes referred to as the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Tabernacle. This was later moved to the interior of the Temple when it was constructed in Jerusalem. The High Priest was only allowed to enter this spot once a year on the Day of Atonement.
|The veil is still utilized ceremonially today|
to symbolize mystery and inaccessibility.
In today's worship, the Eastern Orthodox Church still contains a place in their sanctuary that they consider the Holy of Holies.
Within a large part of Christian theology, when the curtain mentioned in today's reading was torn in two after the death of Jesus according to Matthew, this is symbolic for God's accessibility to all the world.
This gets back to the mysterious nature of God. We know that God is not like we are. And at the same time, we do believe that God pursues us and is accessible to us.
How can we hold up this otherness of God while at the same time desiring to draw near to God or for God to draw near to us?
Photo by Kevin Saff via Flickr.com, used by permission under the Creative Commons license.