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Why the torn curtain?

Week 11 in the Word – March 12, 2021

Christians around the globe anticipate another celebration of Easter coming this year on April 4. Some call it Holy Week, the week that included Jesus observing the Passover with His disciples, the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of our Lord. It was a holy week, but it was not a beautiful week. This week we will be reading about it from Mark’s account. What great preparation for the commemoration of our Lord’s resurrection 23 days from now!

One of our devotionals this week will consider the idea that God the Father was pleased, even delighted with His Son’s death. How can that be? John Piper has an excellent article on this here. The truth is the cross seems absurd to human thought (1 Corinthians 1:18). The doctrine of substitutionary atonement (that Jesus took the place of sinners on the cross, bearing their sin and that all who believe in Him are reconciled to God by grace through faith alone) has been ridiculed as “cosmic child abuse”. But when Jesus died the curtain in the temple--that previously marked the most holy area open only to the high priest once a year--was torn in two.

What was that about? Why does Mark mention a torn curtain?

The answer is the torn curtain meant that the way into the Holy of holies, the presence of God, was opened. It was God’s will to crush Him (Isaiah 53:10). The Father was pleased, even delighted with His Son’s death. The death of the Son of God meant that all God’s people would forever be free to enter His presence, without fear, without guilt, without hesitation. The Bible even says they can enter boldly into His presence (Hebrews 4:16). That is the good news of the gospel. Now in Christ, we who believe in Him are welcome into the presence of God because we are reconciled to Him by the grace through faith.

As Prof Hendricks would have said, “May you never recover from this!”

Looking ahead

This week we will be near the end of the Pentateuch. Moses’ instructions and warnings to Israel are filled with truth that applies to Christians living in the 21st Century. The three offices of prophet, priest, and king that were established in and regulated by the law were perfectly fulfilled by Jesus. As we read Mark’s account of the Holy Week we should be reminded of the great mercy, grace, and love of God to us in Christ. By Thursday, we will start the gospel of Luke which gives us some wonderful details surrounding the birth of Jesus not included by Matthew and Mark.

Tip of the week

Cultivate delight in the Scriptures.

Do not let Bible reading become perfunctory (characterized by routine or superficiality, mechanical). God blesses the one who delights in His word (Psalm 1:1,2).


If you do not have a copy of my book you may want to order one here. However, you may also access the daily audio recordings generously provided by my friend and pastor Charlie Evans below.

Week of March 12-18, 2021

March 12 /Day 71 The Three Offices of Jesus (Deuteronomy 17-19; Mark 14:1-25) Audio here. March 13/Day 72 God’s Grace for Every Battle (Deuteronomy 20-22; Mark 14:26-50) Audio here. March 14/Day 73 Handling Overwhelming Guilt (Deuteronomy 23-25; Mark 14:51-72) Audio here. March 15/Day 74 The Crucifixion: Were You There? (Deuteronomy 26-27; Mark 15:1-26) Audio here. March 16/Day 75 The Father’s Delight in the Son’s Death (Deuteronomy 28; Mark 15:27-47) Audio here. March 17/Day 76 Where Does Sin Come From? (Deuteronomy 29-30; Mark 16) Audio here. March 18/Day 77 A Serving of Grace with a Dose of Reality (Deuteronomy 31-32; Luke 1:1-23) Audio here.