John the beloved apostle wrote in Revelation 3:7, “This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.” The key of David was entrusted to the chamberlain or vizier of the king’s palace. This symbol of authority afforded entrance into every room; nothing was hidden from the holder of the key.
For the child of God, prayer is that key. It permits entrance into the very throne room of heaven—into the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In the desert tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem, the high priest was the only individual allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, but only once each year: on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The curtain divided the priests who performed the daily activities in the Holy Place from the holy of holies. It was a barrier so that man would not casually, rashly, or disrespectfully enter into the presence of El Hakkadosh, the Holy God, who cannot tolerate sin. Habakkuk 1:13 says of Jehovah, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.”
When Jesus breathed His last breath and gave up the ghost, Matthew tells us that “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:51). The temple’s high priest must have been terribly frightened! He was likely unaware that his work was finished, that the Lamb of God had been offered sacrificially one time for the sins of all. As the high priest made his way into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of the evening sacrifice on the horns of the altar, the veil that separated man from God had been ripped from top to bottom.
It was a symbol that we no longer have to wait to be represented yearly by the high priest: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14–16). Believers now have free access into the presence of God.