Christianity Explored: clouds, a cry and the temple curtain

We’re on week four of Christianity Explored, the death of Christ. The course study guide makes three points about the crucifixion: the darkness shows God’s anger being directed at Jesus as he is cut off from his Father in heaven; the abandonment of Jesus in his cry of dereliction; the temple curtain torn in two from top to bottom.

On the second point, the study guide takes us to the baptism of Jesus and the transfiguration. In each scene the clouds part and a voice from heaven says “I love you Son”. At the crucifixion, the clouds are dense, impenetrable and Christ’s voice seems to bounce off them. God the Father is seen to cut Christ off.

The third image is of the temple curtain being torn in two, making God accessible to sinners. The doctrine of imputed righteous is found in this image. Before the crucifixion God is behind the curtain in the holy of holies. The temple curtain protects unclean, sinful people from God’s all consuming purity. The torn temple curtain indicates a change. The change is not in God but in those who believe. Christ’s death has made believers holy. All who are in Christ can now approach God without fear of being consumed.

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