Mark 15:38

The Temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom.

torn in two
and by two again
torn open
across and through

first so open
later constricted
again cracked
able to be pried

security breached
alarms ring
rally the troops
Love’s escaped again

metered relationship
standardized through
controlled healings
adjectives sundered

There was a borning cry (1:11) as a spirit of belovedness entered Jesus while he was a stone in the Jordan.

Prior to that, there was a visual of “the sky torn open” (1:10).

We have just heard a death cry (15:37) or closing sigh.

Now, another visual—a curtain torn open (15:38).

Narratively these are brackets of a large story. Before the bracket was the announced presumption that we will be hearing “good news”, a reference to prophets in the wilderness, a description of Baptizer John (an Elijah figure). Included here is an expectation that hearts and lives will change toward forgiveness.

We will see whether the remainder of Mark will see closure in regard to these same components.

For now, we might note that there are those like Alfred Edersheim (Life and Time of Jesus the Messiah611) who describe the curtain in question at sixty feet long, thirty feet wide, and as thick as the palm of a hand. That’s a big tear.

In light of entering and leaving of a spirit of belovedness, we might imagine the curtain being torn by an exhalation that sets belovedness loose into the world. We must, however, be careful that this does not suggest G*D was trapped by the Ark or, later, Temple and now Jesus sets G*D free. This would be a subtle suggestion of prioritizing Christian over Jew.

Mark has certainly been used as part of an anti-Semitic agenda. While Mark’s first Readers have found this to be an acceptable interpretation of Jesus’ death and found blame to be attributable to Jewish religious leaders caught in the tensions of occupation, current Readers cannot with good conscience travel there.

Perhaps it is enough to consider both the Jordan and the Temple as additional creation stories that can change lives.

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