Friday, March 19, 2021

“Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” (Matthew 27:50)

In almost every culture, in almost every myth, in almost every movie, in almost everything everywhere, death is what separates humans from the gods, mortals and immortality.

Almost. For this is what makes the story of Jesus so unique. This is what makes the Christian faith so unique. God’s death upon the cross on Good Friday is a different type of story. It is audacious, it is incomprehensible, it is unthinkable that God would die and would not save himself by coming down from the cross.

But our God is singular. Our God loves the world so much that death is not beneath godliness and therefore God’s grace.

This fact is why the temple veil rips in two upon Jesus’ final breath and cry. The temple curtain was a sign that God and humans were separate, different from one another. Mortal people stood on the outside of the temple curtain and only those who were godly, ritually pure, could enter behind the veil, the place where God resided. But when Jesus dies, when God dies, the temple curtain is removed and so does any false pretense that God does not fully embrace humanity, all of humanity, even the most human thing, death itself.

Peace in Christ,

Pr. Dan Joyner Miller