FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART
The Gospel of Mark narrated the event where Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. It says in Mark 1:9-11 that just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, the heavens were torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my Son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
I am drawn to the words “the heavens were torn apart”. To tear apart something requires some amount of force. Therefore, Mark was trying to convey the intense effort needed to do this action. The heavens torn apart gives us the idea of how broke the obstacle that has kept heaven and earth separated.
Earlier, God had been silent for 400 years since the times of the book of Malachi. But at the baptism of Jesus, or at the start of His public ministry, the heavens broke through and came down to us. God was no longer hidden and has come down to show us who God is.
At the end of Jesus ministry, another item was torn apart. Matthew 27:51 tells us that when Jesus was nailed to the cross, as he gave up
his spirit, the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. In that moment too, the earth shook and the rocks split!
The curtain in the temple, was a Separation between men and God. When Jesus gave His (earthly) life on the cross, the curtain was torn
apart, and the way was opened for people to have direct access to God.
In this new year, I would like to urge you to determine in your heart, and put your mind, soul and strength to intentionally draw near to God and know Him more intimately. For our God has made Himself known to us by removing all obstacles that stood in the way..
REV PHILIP LIM