In Mark’s description of the crucifixion we are told that “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (Mark 15:37). Continue reading . . .
In Mark’s description of the crucifixion we are told that “Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (Mark 15:37).
This cry (v. 37) is probably a reference to the sixth of our Lord's seven utterances on the cross. According to John, this cry consisted of the words, "It is finished" (19:30). It was "not the gasp of a worn-out, disintegrated life, but an exultant expression of the supreme spiritual joy of the completion of His divinely determined work" (S. L. Johnson). It is at this moment that Jesus voluntarily relinquishes his struggle for life. Even in death he is yet in control. He gave his life willingly and lovingly." The work of redemption is done.
The result is that “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38). There were two veils in the Temple, one separating the outer court from the Holy Place, and one separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. Surely it was the second of these that was torn (v. 38). This was the veil that separated all men from God and barred entrance into the Holy of Holies. This was the veil through which only the high priest could pass once a year. It was massive: 60 ft. long, 30 ft. high, and 1 inch thick. Ancient sources tell us that it took 100 priests to put it in place.
How did this happen? I have no doubt but that God reached down and shred it in two with no less power and glory than when he divided the waters of the Red Sea!
What was the symbolic significance of this rending of the veil? Surely three things.
(1) It points to the complete, perfect, and altogether sufficient sacrifice for sins that Jesus has offered in himself on the cross. The sin that had created a ba