"The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open." - Matthew 27:51-52
God, who split the mountains and rocks in the story of Elijah (1 Kings 19:12), also caused the rocks to split when Jesus died on the cross. And Jesus’ death changed history—not only for human beings but also for the world God made. Through his life and death, Jesus broke the stranglehold that sin and death had over us as well as God’s creation (see Genesis 3; John 3:16). Jesus opened a new way for us to live—with God and for God—so that we can have life to the full, as God intended from the beginning. What a great reason for giving thanks!
The curtain in the temple had separated the people of God from the inner sanctuary, where God’s powerful presence came to dwell in Old Testament times. So the tearing of the curtain meant that God’s presence was no longer separate from his people, and God’s Spirit would now come to live in the people’s hearts.
In this splitting open there’s a death and new birth all at once. It’s something like breaking open a geode: a gnarly looking rock that, when broken open, reveals beautiful crystals inside. Only by breaking the geode can the stunning creation on the inside be revealed.
In Christ, God reveals the beautiful life he intended for us all along. The Lord breaks through, showing his good and powerful love for us all.