Title: Ripping Open the Kingdom

Focus: The coming of Christ brought a ripping open of the Heavens and of the temple veil, signifying both access to God and a going forth of his glory and gospel to the whole earth

Function: to motivate the hearers to rip through veils of pride, apathy and fear, and to go forth with the glorious Gospel of God

Text: Mark 1:10; 15:38

1.  Sports team about the enter the contest likes to make an impressive entrance
	a.  Remember football game
	b.  Team runs through a banner with their name on it, tear it to shreds
2.  Our Lord did the same thing
	a.  Mark 1:10 - He personally enters the playing field to enter the contest
	b.  Contest begins at baptism
	c.  The heavens are “ripped open,” Spirit comes out of Heaven
3.  There is another ripping at the end of his ministry
	a.  Mark 15:38 - Veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom
	b.  So it begins and ends with ripping
4.  What does this ripping signify?

I.  Destruction of the current system of atonement
	A.  Not destruction of the Torah
		1.  Mt 5:17 - Jesus did not come to abolish but fulfill the law
		2.  Gal 3:24 - Law is our tutor to lead us to Christ
		3.  ILL:  Like a child
			a.  Earlier years - Focus on rules (Old Testament)
			b.  Later years - Internalize, understand, discernment
			c.  Later years build on the earlier learning
		4.  So not destruction of Torah, but of what veil represents
	B.  What does the veil represent?
		1.  Division between the Holy and Profane (Ex 26:31-37)
			a.  Serves as a partition
			b.  Not anyone could enter (Lev 16:1-3; 29-34)
		2.  The gateway to God
			a.  It was very holy because that where God is (Ex 25:21-22)
			b.  Had to wash, and sacrifice befor entering (Lev 16)
		3.  The path to atonement
			a.  Yom Kippur only time to enter the veil
			b.  (Lev 4:1-6) Sin Offering blood sprinkle 7 times before veil
	C.  But something happened to the veil - It miraculously is ruined
		1.  Fort Wolters - Gate demolished - because Fort closed
		2.  Could rebuild gate - would that get you into Ft Wolters?
		3.  No, because Fort Wolters is gone, new gate be useless
		4.  That what happened at temple
			a.  Gate/veil was destroyed
			b.  Could repair it, but that would not matter
			c.  God not longer at temple made with bricks and mortar
		4.  So, how do we approach God if way to him ripped apart?

II.  Ripping denotes Drawing near to God in a new way
	A.  Before, approaching God meant making a trip to the temple
	B.  Now there is a new way to approach God
		1.  New way of atonement (Heb 9:24-28)
			a.  No one brings sacrifices at a temple any longer
			b.  Jesus atoned for us once for all time
			c.  But still offer living sacrifice (but not to atone) - Rom 12:1
			d.  We still offer a sacrifice of praise - Heb 13:15
		2.  New way of approaching God in service and worship
			a.  The new was is through Jesus Christ (Heb 6:17-20)
			b.  Jesus entered as a forerunner into the veil
			c.  He ripped it open for us
			d.  He is our High Priest, was can approach God
	C.  ILL:  Building of Kennedy Freeway in Omaha
		1.  Better access around the city, before it was tough, traffic jams
		2.  Grandma spoke of Hwy 275 when they graveled it
		3.  Thought it was sooo nice
		4.  Jesus paved a new way for us into the veil
	D.  Since he is the road, the way, he intends for us to take it
		1.  (Heb 7:25) - Able to save us who draw near through him
		2.  (Heb 10:19-25) - Exhortation
			a.  Draw near in confidence
			b.  Hold fast your confession of hope
			c.  Consider you to stimulate one another
		3.  Exhortation to keeping the faith with endurance
		4.  Have you kept the drawn near to God and kept the faith?

III.  Ripping denotes the Driving forth of the Glorious Gospel
	A.  We usually think of the ripping open as allowing something to go in
	B.  Have you considered that it was also to let God’s glorious gospel out?
		1. Heavens “rip” open, and something comes “down”
		2.  Partitions in the temple “rips” open
			a.  Is it so we can enter in, or so God’s glory can go out?
			b. Answer is yes
		3.  From very beginning, God wanted his glory to fill the earth
			a.  Gen 1-11 - “Be fruitful multiply, fill the earth”
			b.  Ezek - Name to be glorified among the nations
		4.  What does Jesus do?  (Mk 16:16) - Commision to preach
	C.  ILL:  Story of dictator Baladan
		1.  Ruthless dictator, killed those whom he suspected of not agree
			a.  People starved under his rule
			b.  They despaired, and often welcomed death
		2.  No one allowed to leave the country, or would be shot
			a.  There was no way out of the miserable existence
			b.  They literally lived in bondage
		3.  Then Baladan died
			a.  Borders were open anyone could leave
			b.  Some tore down the walls that kept people in bondage
			c.  They could leave under a better rule elsewhere
		4.  But people were not aware of this fact  
			a.  So some decided to go around and tell people
			b.  Dark, gloomy lives experience light of hope
	D.  God’s intention is for all of us to be light and salt
		1.  Taste and see the Lord is good
		2.  Only way to do that
			a.  Live as Jesus lived
			b.  Speak his good news, the gospel
		3.  Tell them and direct them to the breach in the veil

1.  What would stop us from bringing people to the torn veil?
2.  Maybe we have a veil of our own that needs to be ripped
3.  What is your veil?
	a.  Pride - Feeling that some people are too poor, messed up, too ....
	b.  Apathy - Maybe just don’t care, or not believe people are lost
	c.  Fear - Of persecution, taunting, being the butt of jokes
4.  Rip them apart, and let the glory of God come through

5.  Have thousands that don’t know God in our own community (campaign)