The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken from prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
The Holy of Holies closed to all men, typified that heaven was closed to mankind since the sin of Adam, that no man could ever enter there or see God. But by his death, he had opened heaven, and the veil of the Holy of Holies torn in the Temple was to show that now the realms of bliss were once more opened. The veil was sixty feet high, thirty wide, as thick as a man's hand, and formed of costly Babylonian embroidery. Two great veils closed the entrance, and it was the inner one which Angel hands rent that day the moment Christ died.
"But before these doors there was a veil of equal size with the doors. It was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue and fine linen, and scarlet and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful. Nor was this mixture of colors without its mystical interpretation, but was a kind of image of the universe." (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, B. v., O, v., 4)
The veil was woven of great strands, interlaced one into another, of different colors, forming a canopy so thick and heavy that three hundred priests were required to hang it. The veils were made by the young virgins offered in the Temple, where they remained till married, and the Virgin Mother, before she was betrothed to Joseph, had worked weaving the great veil. Writers tell us that the moment Christ died, the two columns sixty feet high at each side of the entrance of the Holy of Holies fell.
By Adam's sin heaven, typified by the garden of Eden, and the Holy of Holies, was closed to mankind. No one could enter that abode of bliss till Christ by his death had paid the price of redemption. The holy ones of all these ages, who had loved God followed the light they had and lived good lives, at their death went down to a place of rest called Abraham's Bosom, (Luke xvi, 22, 23) named also the "Limbo of the Fathers," "Hades," or "Hell." There they waited in the hope of the Redeemer. When with a loud cry the Son of God died, his soul went down into that place to tell the Saints the story of Redemption. During the three days, while his body was in the tomb, his soul remained with these holy souls, and when he went to heaven they ascended with him.
These were the patriarchs, prophets and personages who rose from their graves, came into the city and Temple, uttering cries of reproach and condemnation for the terrible deeds the Jewish nation had done against Christ. Nothing excited such a horror as contact with the dead, the image of Adam's sin resting on all his race. The Pharisees had magnified beyond measure the uncleanness of death. But the crucifixion of Christ robbed death of its terrors and swallowed it up in victory.
We can imagine the fright and consternation of priests and people, when they saw walking in Temple precincts and floating over their heads, the forms of their dead friends, and the saints of former generations, rendering them and the very Temple accursed, unclean and defiled. It was the abomination of desolation spoken by the prophet Daniel.
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many in one week, and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail, and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation, and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation and to the end." (Daniel ix. 27.) "When therefore," said Christ, " you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, he that readeth let him understand." (Matt. xxiv. 15.) Julian the Apostate tried to rebuild the Temple, and to revive the Jewish sacrifices to prove these words of Christ and his prophet false, but fire drove his workmen away, and destroyed their works as soon as finished.