educate equip enable
I'd never been to a cricket match till a few years ago. Then a friend of mine invited me to go. There was no way he was going to sit in the stalls, sweltering in the sun. Instead, we walked through the front gate, through the stalls and into one of the private boxes. Air-conditioning, closed-circuit TV, drinks, food, tinted glass windows. How did I get access to such sumptuous viewing? Was it because I'd paid the price? No way! It was because my friend had. Without him I wouldn't have gotten past the front gate. But through him, I had access denied most others.
Imagine trying to make an appointment with the president of the United States of America. You telephone the White House, tell them who you are and that you'd like to make an appointment. The questions come thick and fast: "Who are you? Where are you from? What is the nature of your inquiry? Can anyone else help you? He's very busy." "I know he's busy " But if the president's son calls him, that's not the kind of response he'll get. It will be, "Oh yes, I'll put you right through." His kids can ring up and just say, "Hey, dad, I'll be there in 5 minutes. I'm gonna pop in and see ya." That's the kind of access we have with God.
In Mat 27:50-51, we are told that immediately after Jesus died the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, opening the way to the Most Holy Place. Why this little scrap of information? It's like God was saying, "This is what happened in the final hours of Jesus' life: He was mocked by the soldiers, beaten, whipped, crucified, ridiculed by the thieves, and Oh, by the way, I thought you ought to know that the veil in the temple was torn in two, and that it was torn from top to bottom." Why was it so important to tell us that? It was because God was telling us that the barrier between the Presence of God and mankind had now been removed. Why from top to bottom? Because it was an initiative from God - no man would have started tearing the veil from the top because it was about 5 metres high - they would have started from the bottom.