Verses 37–39: “Then Jesus gave a loud cry and died. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw how he died, he said, ‘Truly this man was a son of God.’”
Theologically this Scripture is a foundation of Christian Protestantism. At Jesus’ death, the temple curtain was torn in half. People no longer needed an external intermediary to The Inner Most Holy of Holies, where God’s presence was believed to reside in the temple.
The inner sanctum had been accessible only to rabbis at certain times. Jesus’ death was followed by the giving of the Holy Spirit who resides with each individual and is accessible all the time. God lives within the inner sanctum of our embodied soul. Our body is the temple of God; we find God here.
As we consider the Scripture symbolically, Jesus is the connection point between our ego and the Self/God Within. The centurion represents attitudes, feelings, beliefs, etc. that go along with and quietly enforces the status quo. The centurion may show up as the “why bother” when we are struggling to change a pattern. For instance, why bother going to the gym, if we’ve already blown our diet today? Or, why bother talking with our partner; he/she never gets it anyway!
The centurion may present as a fear of failure, loss, or rejection, based on past experience, which paralyzes us in the present. We stay caught in self-destructive, undesirable patterns.
The “centurion” is the messenger of the learned, adaptive self that responds and acts according to internalized beliefs and patterns; he dismisses our embodied felt sense and knowing if they disagree with the learned. When this happens, an expression of our Inner Divine Spirit dies. This death creates an opening for us to see and know the Self/God Within.
We experience “deaths” of our Inner Divine Spirit wherever we respond automatically and routinely in lifeless, disconnected ways. We eat mindlessly. We listen to another person without really hearing. We hold to a rebellious attitude even though it is our Self whom we resist. We continue relationships, behaviors, habits even though we know they are life killing, not life giving.
As the centurion “saw how he [Jesus] died,” we must see how we kill expressions of our Inner Divine Spirit. The ego/little self often gets caught seeing through filters based on the past. The filters distort what we see in the present, thereby thwarting change or growth. Conscious transformation, changing, begins with seeing what is.
Seeing where and how we participate in the killing of expressions of our Inner Divine Spirit is essential. Seeing presents an opportunity to choose to align with the Inner Divine and connect with God Within so our Inner Divine flows more fully and freely into our thoughts, feelings, sensations, intuitions, and actions.
Take a few minutes to reflect on where your Inner Divine Spirit is birthing new life. How are you holding on to the learned, adaptive ways that kill the expressions of the Self/God Within? Where is your desire to live into a stronger and purer expression of your Inner Divine Spirit? Be courageous; see what is for you at this moment and step into the openings.