Torn Veil of The Temple and Jesus´ Death

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TORN IN TWO Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; Matthew 27:51a The narrator has shifted in style. Jesus is still at the center. His death remains the main focus, but now the topics of miracles act like loaded exclamation points to the subject of the crucifixion.1 The temple, the center of the Jewish universe, is split, the veil torn in two, the captives are set free. God has spoken. Mark does not include the miraculous acts listed above, but illustrates the change of location from earth to heaven through comparing the earthly Jesus, “the temple made with hands,” who was “given as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) to the risen Jesus.2 The ripping of the veil in Mark, exposes the very face of God, splitting the heavens and opens a heavenly passageway, revealing God to all.3 “Certainly the significance of the fact that the torn veil reveals God's "face" in the face of one enthroned not on the ark or the cherubim, but on the cross, would not be lost on cultically sensitive and discerning readers!”4 The purpose of Mark’s Gospel is to reveal God. The first Gospel begins a Christological conversation that continues throughout the passion narratives and interrelated scriptures. Matthew refers heavily to Mark’s Gospel and goes beyond retelling the story. He asserts important theological concepts while building on Mark’s revelation that Jesus is God. Matthew demonstrates through references to the Old Testament, Mark and through connections within his own composition that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Eschatological and Salvific promise. “This expansion brings the preternatural signs surrounding the death of Jesus to a dramatic climax: at the moment of Jesus’ death, the temple curtain is t... ... middle of paper ... ... the the Death of Jesus. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)174-17513 Chronis, Harry L. “The Torn Veil: Cultus and Christology in Mark 15:37-39.” Journal of Biblical Literature 101 no 1 Mr 1982, 114. 14 Daniel M. Gurtner. The Torn Veil: Matthew’s Exposition of the the Death of Jesus. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 172-177.15 Paraphrased from conversation with Pastor Colier McNair, Zion City International Ministries, Madison, Wisconsin, April 17, 2014.16 Dale C. Allison, Jr. Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 105.17 154 Ulrich Luz. Matthew 21-28: Hermeneia-A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005), 563.18 Daniel M. Gurtner. The Torn Veil: Matthew’s Exposition of the the Death of Jesus. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 199.

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