Lent: A Time for Reflection
Friday, April 3, 2015
In Day 39 of Adam Hamilton’s book, 40 Days of Reflection, the author reflects on the torn curtain. He says, “When Matthew, Mark and Luke describe the curtain of the Temple being torn in two, they mean for us to understand that Jesus has gone before the mercy seat of God, has made atonement for the sins of the human race, and has reconciled us to God.”
As Jesus drew His last breath, He gave out a loud cry. It was at that moment that the curtain of the temple was torn in two—from top to bottom. Most of those standing by Jesus when this happened still didn’t understand. However, Mark’s Gospel tells us this: “Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was God’s son!’”
God knew the Israelites would sin. Even before Jesus’ birth, He had made provision in the law for their restoration and healing through atoning sacrifices. As an expression of their remorse and to make amends for their sins, the people were to bring a sacrificial offering to God. Hamilton says, “The sacrifice was the worshiper’s way of saying, ‘Lord, I am sorry for what I have done. This gift is a small token of my desire to be restored to right relationship with you.’”
However, Jesus came, lived, ministered, taught, healed and sacrificed for us. Hamilton adds, “He offered to God not the blood of a goat, but his own blood on behalf of the people. He said, in essence, ‘God, I give myself for these sinful, confused and broken people. By the giving of my life, I ransom them. And by this sacrifice I mean for them to understand that their sins are forgiven.’”
We all fall short of God’s glory. Join me in asking God
- to create in each of us a clean heart
- to renew within each of us a right spirit
- and to live our lives in a grateful response to the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Read the following scripture today as you continue on this 40-day lent journey: Mark 15:37-39.