Today’s study tip is a quick behind-the-scenes look at a couple of verses from Mark’s gospel. The word “opening” in Mark 1:10 is the Greek word, schizo, the root for the English words schizophrenic and schism. I’d always pictured this more like a curtain opening at the beginning of a show, but schizo means to rend or cleave. It’s much more energetic and active.
Now skip ahead to Mark 15:38. “And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Torn is the same Greek word, schizo, that we saw in Mark 1:10.
The writer nerd in me immediately sees this as a subtle but beautifully crafted way to bookend the story of Jesus’s ministry. It’s even more significant than that.
At the start of Jesus’s earthly ministry, the heavens are opened. God gives notice that Jesus is His Son, and we should listen. God validates Jesus’s ministry with the seal that Jesus speaks for Him. In the Upper Room, He tells His disciples if they’d seen Him, they’d seen the Father. In other words, all the access you could ever want or need to the Sovereign King of Kings was now available. If you wanted to talk to God, you simply had to talk to Jesus. That’s an amazing thing right there.
But it got better.
At the end of Jesus’s ministry, the veil in the temple is torn from top to bottom. The physical access people had to the Father through the person of Jesus Christ was now completely wide open because of His shed blood on the cross. We are no longer limited to meeting God at a particular time and place. We have free, unlimited access to Him because of Jesus. All the barriers are have been torn, cleaved, rent apart.
That’s a lot of power packed in that one little word.