By Jason Dulle
Mk 1:10 And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart [schidzo] and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (NET)
Mk 15:37-38 But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last. 38 And the temple curtain was torn [schidzo] in two, from top to bottom. (NET)
Mark seems to be making a connection between the response of heaven at Jesus’ baptism and the response of heaven at Jesus’ death through his use of the Greek term schidzo (meaning split, divide, or tear) — a connection that is obscured by most translations because they translate the word differently in each of the two verses. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry the heavens were opened to Him and He was personally anointed by the Holy Spirit from the Father. At the end of His ministry, however, it was not the heavens that were opened, but the Holy of Holies itself, signifying that the presence of God is no longer confined to a specific locale, or available solely to the high priest. Now all have access to the presence of God because of Jesus.