Was the tearing of the temple veil mentioned in three Gospels a literal, physical event, or is it meant to be symbolic of the reality that we can now enter the holy of holies due to Christ’s death on the cross?
In the Old Covenant, only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, i.e., the place inside the veil, and only on the Day of Atonement (see Leviticus 16:1-34). Any other attempt would result in death (see Leviticus 16:1-2; Numbers 3:10, 18:7). But the temple veil was first torn in two, and then then the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the latter event definitively conveying that temple worship had given way to New Covenant worship.
By Tom Nash