And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
I’m teaching a person the gospel and they have the question about this verse in Matthew 27:51 and Mark 15:38. Can you explain to me the meaning of this verse? She feels that the temple was done away with at this time. How do I explain to her the need for the temples using the New Testament?
Brady, from Salt Lake City, Utah
You may not be able to explain the need for temples from the New Testament to someone who has already made up her mind that they are no longer needed. Little is written about temples in the New Testament. So I would suggest that you may want to broaden the field a bit. But let’s look first at the scripture you quoted and your friend’s rather odd interpretation of it.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose (Matt 27:51-52).
Matthew records that at the crucifixion—
–the veil of the temple was rent
–the earth did quake
–the rocks rent
–the graves were opened..
Let’s try to follow her reasoning. Since the veil of the temple was rent, there is no further need for temples; therefore, since the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent, there is no further need for the earth!! If the earth were to remain, then why not the temple as well?
The thing to do in cases such as these where people with preconceived prejudices hold to ridiculous conclusions is to take the high ground. Don’t try to develop some logic from a false position, such as your friend expresses here. Recognize her conclusion and let it go. If she has any interest in learning the truth, you may guide her through the learning process—
–to have a sincere desire to know the truth
–to ask the Lord in sincere prayer for the influence of the Holy Spirit
–to listen to your explanations based on the holy scriptures and the words of the prophets,
–and to hear your testimony of the truth of that which you teach to her.