The parallels are:
- the use of schizomai (torn/ripped) in Mk 1:10 & 15:38. (Matthew and Luke retain the verb in the crucifixion, but simply use 'opened' in their respective versions of the baptism of Jesus.)
- The heavens are torn apart, as is the temple curtain. The temple curtain referred to was likely not the curtain separating the Holy of Holies within the temple complex, but the curtain at the entrance to the temple building itself. Josephus (Jewish War 5:212-214) says that this curtain had on it a panoramic vision of the cosmos! (See here also.) If this were so, then this curtain may have been visible from the place of crucifixion, explaining the centurion's 'confession'.
- The descent of the Spirit and the descending tear of the temple curtain, explicitly mentioned by Mark.
- The voice announcing the sonship of Jesus, in the first case the voice of God, in the latter the voice of the centurion.
- The use of pneuma (Spirit, 1:10) and cognate (breathed, 15:39)
- John the Baptist as Elijah (1:6; 9:13) and waiting for Elijah (15:35)
Interestingly, baptism and crucifixion can be coordinated with the transfiguration in similar terms (See Ched Myers, Binding the Strong Man, p. 391):
- descending cloud
- a voice announcing the sonship of Jesus
- and the appearance of Elijah.
Possible ideas to explore:
- The apocalyptic nature of the baptism of Jesus. (See Isa 64:1-2)
- The heavens torn open heralds God's access to the world in the first place rather than our access to God.