A Father's Grief
And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit. And at once the curtain of the sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and rocks were split.
-- Matthew 27:50-51
It's that time of year again -- spring! And with the spring come two celebrations. One is Jewish, a Biblical feast. The other is a decidedly Christian celebration. But the two are inextricably linked. They are Passover and Easter.
Yeshua's (Jesus) "last supper" was a Passover meal, known as a Seder (Mt. 26:17-30). It was after the Seder that Yeshua was betrayed, tried and crucified. After His physical death on the cross, Yeshua was buried in a tomb, and on the third day He was resurrected. Praise God!
What a privilege to see Yeshua fulfill the Feast of Passover by His sacrifice on the cross. And what a joy it is to celebrate the commemoration of His resurrection! But rather than further expound on either of these subjects, let's take a look at one of the events that coincided with Yeshua's death -- the tearing of the curtain in the temple.
By tearing the curtain, God has removed the barrier which barred our way into the Holy of Holies so that we may now enter freely into God's presence (Hebrews 10:19-22). But is there perhaps something else hidden in this act? Something which is very telling of the love that a father has for his son?
"He (Jacob) said, My son's long garment! An evil [wild] beast has devoured him; Joseph is without a doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned many days for his son." -- Gen. 37:33-34
As in the days of Jacob it was the custom during the time Yeshua walked the face of the earth, to tear your clothing (usually grasping at the neckline and tearing from top to bottom) and wear sackcloth (rough clothing) and ashes as a sign of mourning. In fact, this is still practiced in the Middle East today.
When Yeshua gave up His spirit and died on the cross it was the first, and only, time in eternity that Father and Son had been separated. Because Scripture tells us that we have been created in the image of God, I believe it is fair to say that God feels the same emotions that we do. In that moment in time, when God's Son died to become the ransom for all of mankind, the Father's heart filled with grief. And in His grief God did what any father would do at the loss of his child -- He tore the curtain in the temple; He tore the rocks; He split the earth. He showed all of mankind the depth of His love for His Son -- and for each one of us -- by what He did on a cross on a hill outside of Jerusalem, and by forever removing the barrier between Creator and creation so that we may experience the fullness of the Father's love. All you have to do is ask.