The disappearance of Jesus created a crisis of truly epic proportions for the Pharisees, elders, and chief priests. They spent the previous three years trying to discredit and trap this Man so they could get rid of Him. Once He was on the cross that Good Friday morning, they returned to their duties performing Passover sacrifices in the temple.
To their shock, the messy lamb killing was dramatically interrupted as invisible hands tore the massive temple curtain in half, revealing the never-before-seen Holy of Holies. It happened at precisely three o’clock in the afternoon when Jesus breathed His last. The thunderous ripping sound echoed from every wall.
But I wonder. Was the curtain hanging on each side by a few unbroken rings or was the entire tapestry lying in two great crimson puddles on the floor?
Did the tradition-soaked priests frantically attempt to cover the opening as if God were suddenly naked before them? Did anyone make the association with the naked Jesus, His back shredded like fabric, hanging limply from two rods on either side of the cross? What did these learned, illustrious men who lived for perfectionistic control think?
What did they feel? What did they fear? What did they do?
The massive disruptions for the duty-bound priests compounded as rumors began flying on Sunday that Jesus had escaped their calculated plans to finish Him off, so they stepped up their efforts at damage control.
I think I understand some of the emotions erupting in the religious leaders: panic, fear, vulnerability, loss, insecurity. Jesus has disrupted my world more times than I would have liked. Has He yours too? Like these men, I have often responded with high control crisis management. It is a naturally human response. Often it blinds to the divine.
The central message of the cross is both supreme love and supreme control. Love orchestrated thousands of details in His work of art, each a beautiful facet in the infinitely perfect plan of the Father, executed flawlessly by the Son.
Will you dare to look for God’s invisible hands at work when your world is disrupted?