When Christians pray, they are not to forget the wounding and agony of Christ. The rent curtain tells Christ’s offering of himself as we engage in prayer, to remind us that Christ procured this right only by his own suffering. So we have seen that both the role of the Spirit, as the replacement Comforter, and the Word of God incarnate as the Great High Priest, are suffused with Christ’s sufferings.
After two postings about the anniversary of the coming of the Saviour, I thought it would be appropriate have a post on Easter, in good time,
The three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, each tell us that at the time that Jesus died, the curtain (or veil) of the Temple in Jerusalem was rent in two, ‘from top to bottom’ (Matthew, 27.51 ), Mark, (Mk.15.38) has ‘And the curtain of was torn in two, from top to bottom’ and Luke (Luke 23.45) ‘And the curtain the temple was torn in two’. Two of the accounts are placed close to the expiring of Jesus on the cross. In Mark with Jesus uttering with a loud cry, and breathing his last. In Luke before Christ’s ‘calling out with a loud voice, he said Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. And having said this, he breathed his last’. So that destructive event, the rending of the Temple curtain, is at the climax of Christ’s torture, so it seems purposely closely associated with the Cross and with what it achieved, and so intimately associated with Easter. Have you ever listened to an Easter sermon that took the topic of the torn curtain and what it signified? In the Gospels that event is associated with the darkening, and with what seems to have been a minor earthquake, and with the resurrection of some from their graves. But what of its greater effect?
If we have heard such a sermon it will make the point about the significance of the curtain in the lay-out of the Temple. It is the separation between the Holy Place and the Holiest Place. It was only to be opened or pushed aside when the High Priest had to enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement.