Yesterday I double-dipped and attended two Good Friday services. During the first one I started pondering the tearing of the temple curtain. I’m sure I’m not the only person to posit this theory, but it’s the first time I’ve thought about it so I’m writing about it here.
I’ve always considered the ripping of the curtain as a theological thing. It was God giving a tangible sign that there was no longer a need for someone to go between humanity and God. God communed with humans in the Garden and then after the fall there was set up a system of go-betweens until the Messiah came and ended the need for that.
All true, but a very safe way to view what I saw yesterday as an emotional outburst. In the moment of Jesus’ death, the earth shakes, the sky goes black and the temple curtain is torn. God is devastated with grief. I’m not one to anthropomorphize God, and I still don’t think I am here. Rather, I think I’m identifying a place where we as humans bear God’s image when it comes to suffering. We are created in the image of a God who mourns. Could it be that God is destroying the barrier between Godself and humanity because God is reaching out for comfort? Part of God’s divine community has been destroyed and God as Trinity exists in community. Could it be that God is looking to fill that void (that God knows is temporary) by returning to a model of communion from the Garden in order to relieve God’s suffering?