“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” -unknown
So goes the age-old riddle. I have a better one - When a gigantic, extra-larger-than-life curtain tears from top to bottom and people are within hearing range to listen, do they hear it tear? The answer to this mystery question is crystal clear. “Yes” would be the most logical response. How could someone NOT hear a jumbo cloth tear? Right? Unless of course a person happened to be deaf; if that were the case, they would sense the vibration of the curtain tear with their body, not to mention noticing the earth that trembled due to the earthquake, and the massive rocks that were split into pieces. So there was that opportunity to hear the curtain tear by acknowledging Jesus as Lord. But the question is – DID they? Umm some people actual did: the Roman centurion for example expressed that, “Truly this Man is the Son of God!” He “heard” the curtain tear. What about the important religious leaders of the day? Well not so much!
The Big Tear of the Curtain
This mystery question comes to life prior to Jesus Christ breathing His last breath and willingly giving Himself up as a sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world.
In the Old Testament days the temple was the place where the Jewish people would come to offer animal sacrifices for their sins.
The Levites were the temple priests that were called and anointed in this extremely important, righteous and holy task. The holy of holies was the most inner part of the temple, a place where only the high priest could go inside once a year. Custom was that a rope was tied around his foot in case he died inside so that someone would be able to pull him out!
Between the holy place and the holy of holies, there was a huge thick curtain, sometimes known as veil. The purpose of this curtain was to separate those two areas and to keep people from coming in. Instead, the people had to go through the priest as a mediator to God and could not get any closer to God than that.
During His crucifixion, when Jesus was on the cross, He “uttered [in] a loud voice breathed out His life.” That is when the curtain was torn from top to bottom, in what I believe was a victorious trumpet sound… equally loud in volume as Jesus’ voice when he breathed his last breath. This sound I am sure rang out in the middle of the earthquake and rocks splitting in pieces for ALL who would listen to hear!
The Big Tear of the Body
Isaiah the great prophet of the Old Testament speaks perfectly of the coming Messiah Christ Jesus in 749 BC. He does not forget the gruesome outcome of a Roman crucifixion, one of the most evil forms of torturous death. Through the beatings of lashes on the back (39 save 1) and the nails that went through the bones of both the hands and the feet, not to mention lifting yourself up in body weight to breath each breath… it was gruesome alright!
Isaiah speaking of Christ says, “For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.” This Bloody Mass was also the supreme power to tear that curtain fulfilling the Abrahamic promise that God gave to His people at the beginning of time.
“I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly… Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.” This promise was so enormous that if flows out from the Jewish nation and onto all the Gentile nations who will believe. Every land, tribe, nation, tongue for all who want all for eternity. The soon coming Messiah that was long and awaited for was the key, connecting people to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ to all those that believe.
No longer will they need to go through a priest, instead each person that believes by faith has access to God personally. Not only that, God Himself comes and lives in us through the Holy Spirit. So God comes and makes His home within us and provides us guidance, comfort, direction, wisdom and a ton more attributes, qualities and other holy characteristics of our sacred God. Talk about intimate and personal!
This is why there is much rejoicing and worship on Resurrection Sunday.
Rejoice and praise be to the One who tore the curtain! Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ the great Reconciliator who has torn that curtain; offering to all, the wonderful prize of heavenly riches all because of the willingness of Christ offering His body to be torn on the cross.
Rejoice and again I say rejoice!
Scripture References: Mark 15:37-47; Matthew 27:35-56; Luke 23:33-49; John 19:18, 23-30; Isaiah 53:1-5; Genesis 17:1-27
Now that you have heard The Big Tear…
• Will you listen with your ears and your heart to follow Jesus?
• Will you rejoice with a LOUD voice acknowledging the greatest gift ever… the tearing of the curtain for the eternal freedom of all mankind?
• Will you compel others, drawing them to the torn curtain so they will hear, listen and respond?
© Copyright 2012 Simone Lake. All Rights Reserved
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About the author
Simone Lake is a Bible teacher, pastor’s wife, and conference speaker (both in the U.S. and internationally). Founder of Deep Roots in Christ Ministries (based on Jer. 17:7-8), she writes devotional articles in several publications, is a short-term missionary, prayer coordinator and chaplain. She graduated from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in Theological Studies (MTS). Simone serves in various areas at Church on Randall Place as well as her associational and state denomination. Simone and her husband, Pastor John Lake, enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking the Grand Canyon, mountain bike riding and walking their Border collie, Scout.
To find out more about her speaking engagements, teachings, and writings, go to: