I don’t know about you, but when I read through the Old Testament of the Bible and get to the sacrifices, I don’t like that so many animals have to be killed. But I realize that if God hadn’t accepted the animal sacrifice, He would demand my own life as the payment for my sin against Him (Romans 6:23). Reading about these sacrifices makes me realize how serious God is about sin.
Ah, but in the New Testament, we read about how Jesus came as the perfect man (while still being wholly God) and was willing to pay our price for our sin. Reading about this sacrifice makes me realize how serious God is about salvation! Oh, how He loves us!
But as much as He loves us, He won’t force His salvation on anyone - He will abide by the choice we make in this life whether to accept His provision or whether we’ll try to be good enough on our own. At the pearly gates, if we try to impress God with our own goodness, He will allow us to go on our way to hell because we cannot stand before a holy God and claim anything. Or we will say it’s only because of Jesus that we can even presume to be allowed to enter heaven (again, Romans 6:23).
The painting shows the old system being shattered by the new. And when Jesus died, the veil in the temple split in two from top to bottom because God tore that barrier down so we can go directly to Him without going through an earthly priest.