Friday, March 25, 2016

The Veil Is Torn - Good Friday Reading

"Hope is imagining God’s future into our present." - N.T. Wright

The temple in Jerusalem had a 60 foot high, 4 inch thick curtain that separated the holiest part of the temple - the place where the very spirit of God was said to reside - from the area where people were allowed to worship.

At the moment that Jesus died, that curtain tore in half.

What's especially interesting is the verb that Scripture uses to describe this event. It is the same verb used to describe heaven opening up when Jesus was baptized - when a voice from heaven said, "This is my son, chosen and marked by my love, the pride of my life."

The curtain tearing in half symbolizes how we are no longer separated from God. God choosing to come and voluntarily suffer alongside humanity made it possible for a new way of living. With death and darkness defeated, the very spirit of God was on the loose. God’s Kingdom was thrown open to all of us.

Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience in your personal life - where walls that had separated you and someone else were torn down, where pain and the absence of life were transformed into healing, connection and new life. What was closed off and dammed up was finally opened wide again and flowed freely.

The cross is the place where death and unbearable pain were transformed into the healing power of God himself, which could then flow out into the world in and through us.

It’s for this reason that – of all the possible words that could have been used to describe the day that Jesus died – we use the word “good.”

That’s eternal hope.