Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Daily Grace - Like a Lamb

In 1602, Italian artist Caravaggio produced a painting called "The Taking of Christ". This work, an early example of the Baroque style, is compelling. Created in dark hues, it allows the viewer to contemplate Jesus' arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Two main elements of the scene depicted in the painting demand the observer's attention. The first is Judas as he delivers the traitor's kiss. Immediately, however, the viewer's focus is drawn toward Jesus' hands, which are passively clasped together to show that He offered no resistance to this injustice. Although He possessed the power to create a universe, Christ gave Himself up voluntarily to His captors and to the waiting cross.

Long before this scene took place, Jesus told His listeners that no one could take His life from Him - He would lay it down willingly (John 10:18). This heart of voluntary surrender was prophesied by Isaiah, who wrote, "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth" (Isa. 53:7). Christ's lamblike self-sacrifice is a grand indicator of His powerful love. "Greater love has no one than this", He explained, "than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).

Think of it. Jesus loved you that much! The nail-pierced hands of Jesus reveal the love-filled heart of God. Love sent the Savior to die in our stead.