Read Mark 15
Focus on verse 37-38
There are details that are trivial, and there are details that are critical. Details that don’t make a significant difference to the main story are trivial. When we have a choice between roast beef on rye or corned beef on wheat for lunch…unless a person has allergies it probably is not a significant detail.
In today’s reading Mark describes the death of Jesus in relative detail. One of the details he includes is an event that occurred at the point of Jesus death at the Temple in Jerusalem.
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. (v. 37-38)
There are a number of critical timing details in this account that are easily missed, which add significant meaning to the story. One of them is that the day Jesus was crucified was the day that the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the altar in the temple. It is, in fact very likely that the very hour that Jesus died was the time at which the offering of the first Passover lamb in the temple. The significance of the curtain of the temple being torn in two at this very hour is symbolic of Jesus being the final Passover Lamb, sacrificed once for all to atone for the sin of humanity. Jesus was in fact, the fulfillment of what the sacrificial system had been a symbol of. The curtain that was torn was the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies where the ark of God was kept, from the inner court of the temple. Only the High priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies once a year at this time to atone for the sin of the people by sprinkling blood on the mercy seat where God was believed to dwell when He inhabited the temple. The fact that this curtain was torn, presumably by God Himself at the point of Jesus death, was also symbolic of the reality that we now all can have access to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus! From here on there would be no more need for a systematic sacrifice of sheep and goats to atone for the sins of the people because Jesus blood now covered it all!
One little detail…one line of words in an amazing story of God’s love for us that gives huge significance to the difference it makes that Jesus died for us and rose again.