April 14, 2022 Cindy Goding



By Cindy Goding

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” -Mark 15:37-38

“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded  up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook and the rocks were split.” -Matthew 27:50-51

This was the moment. The moment where everything changed for us. Let’s go back and put ourselves into the scene. Remember, Jesus had just experienced his triumphal entry into the holy city days before. He was welcomed like a king. People were shouting praises, laying down their garments, and tree branches on the ground to welcome Jesus. Those of the Jewish faith and religion had thought that their king had come to overthrow the oppressive rule of the Romans. Can you feel it? Can you feel the electricity running through the city? The excitement? The fear from the rulers?  “And the crowds that went before him that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” -Matthew 21:9

Jesus had one last week. One last week to spend time with those he loved, one last week to pour into his followers, one last week to teach the importance of his death and resurrection. Then, Jesus was betrayed by one of his own. He poured time into Judas. He spent time with Judas. He sought out Judas. He loved Judas. Judas was one he came to save. Can you feel it? Can you feel the heartache from Jesus? Can you feel the unspoken words in Jesus’ eyes as he tells Judas to go?  “Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly’” -John 13:27

Jesus was arrested and tried before Herod and Pilate where he was found guilty for sins he never committed. He was sentenced to death. He was beaten, he was shamed, he was mocked, he was forced to carry the very tool used for death to the place where he would die. Yet, even during this time, he comforted those around him- he forgave the sins of the criminal next to him. Can you feel it? The sadness from those who loved Jesus as they watched him being nailed to the cross. The anguish from Jesus as he suffers from excruciating pain. Can you feel the confusion from Pilate as he sentences an innocent man to death? Can you feel the peace and joy from the criminal on the cross who confesses? “And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’. And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise’” -Luke 23:42-43

Then comes the moment. Jesus breathed his last and the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom in two. The sign and power that shows this could only be an act from God. But let’s pause a moment and think about the significance of this. This was the temple where the Jews had built for God’s presence to reside. Where people came to confess and atone for their sins. Where only the high priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, once a year, to repent for the sins of the people. The temple was incredibly sacred for the Jewish people, and it held significance and importance for the religious leaders. And yet, when Jesus died, the curtain that physically separated God from everyone was torn- was destroyed, was blown wide open. And EVERYONE was able to not only see into the holy place, but enter the holy place. Can you feel it? Can you feel the utter shock as this curtain falls limp to each side? Can you feel the power as the earth shakes and the rocks are split? Can you feel the awe and wonder as people cautiously peeked into the room? Can you feel them holding their breath as they step into the room where they could not enter just moments before? 

See, this was the moment. The moment where you and I were brought into the picture. Where you and I were allowed to become citizens of heaven. This was the moment where we realize Jesus was sent to not just be the payment for sins, but to redeem and reconcile the WORLD. This was the moment where God welcomed EVERYONE into a personal relationship with him regardless of heritage. The curtain was torn wide open to show that God WANTS us to be in his presence, to enter in with gladness, and worship. Where we don’t have to go through rituals or others to be in his presence, but rather we can enter at any point because Jesus is our forever high priest who petitions on our behalf. This was the moment where-

“For God so loved the WORLD, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16