Acrylics, india ink, gold ink, pencil on board
April 23, 2011
Behold the man. Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Behold, the Man!" John 15:5
This was a difficult picture. It took me a while to get the pre-sketch right, and then when I started painting it, I initially did purple for the robe (as it says in the Gospel). But it looked absolutely terrible. Then I did the face, which started looking pretty good, and then I went over the purple with white. And then I repainted it red, and it like dramatically looked better. So I went with this.
I finished it on Holy Saturday, it was a good Lenten piece to do. I took forever on it, mostly because I neglected it so much.
This picture, as have most of mine, has been blessed by a Catholic priest.
So you get graces every time you look at it.
So here He is... behold your king.
What should we feel at the first whisper of a certain suggestion of a certain man? Certainly it is not for us to blame anybody who should find that first wild whisper merely impious and insane. On the contrary, stumbling on that rock of scandal is the first step. Stark staring incredulity is a far more loyal tribute to the truth than a modernist metaphysic that would make it out merely a matter of degree. It were better to rend our robes with a great cry against blasphemy, like Caiaphas in the judgment, or to lay hold of the man as a maniac possessed of devils like the kinsmen and the crowd, rather than to stand stupidly debating fine shades of pantheism in the presence of so catastrophic a claim. There is more of the wisdom that is one with surprise in any simple person, full of the sensitiveness of simplicity, who should expect the grass to wither and the birds to drop dead out of the air, when a strolling carpenter's apprentice said calmly and almost carelessly, like one looking over his shoulder, "Before Abraham was, I AM."
“There were solitudes beyond where none shall follow. There were secrets in the inmost and invisible part of that drama that have no symbol in speech; or in any severance of a man from men. Nor is it easy for any words less stark and single-minded than those of the naked narrative even to hint at the horror of exaltation that lifted itself above the hill. Endless expositions have not come to the end of it, or even to the beginning. And if there be any sound that can produce a silence, we may surely be silent about the end and the extremity; when a cry was driven out of that darkness in words dreadfully distinct and dreadfully unintelligible, which man shall never understand in all the eternity they have purchased for him; and for one annihilating instant an abyss that is not for our thoughts had opened even in the unity of the absolute; and God had been forsaken of God.”
~G.K. Chesterton The Everlasting Man
I can't recommend this book highly enough.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.~C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
Pilate, seeing the Redeemer reduced to that condition, so moving, as it was, to compassion, thought that the mere sign of Him would have softened the Jews. He therefore led Him forth into the balcony; he raised up the purple garment, and, exhibiting to the people the body of Jesus all covered with wounds and gashes, he said to them, Behold the man: Pilate went forth again to them, and saith to them: Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him. Jesus, therefore, went forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment; and he saith unto them: Behold the Man (John 19:4-5). Behold the Man! as though he would have said, Behold the man against whom you have laid an accusation before me, and who wanted to make Himself a king. I, to please you, have sentenced Him, innocent although He be, to be scourged: "Behold the Man, not honored as a king, but covered with disgrace." Behold Him, now, reduced to such a state that He wears the appearance of a man that has been flayed alive; and He can have but little life left in Him. If, with all this, you want me to condemn Him to death, I tell you that I cannot do so, as I find not any reason for condemning Him. But the Jews on beholding Jesus thus ill-treated, waxed more fierce: When, therefore, the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, Crucify Him! Crucify Him! (John 19:6) Pilate, seeing that they could not be pacified, washed his hands in the presence of the people, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just Man; look you to it (Mt. 27:24). And they made answer, His blood be upon us, and upon our children (Mt. 27:25).
O my beloved Saviour! Thou art the greatest of all kings; yet now I behold Thee the most reviled of all mankind. If this ungrateful people knows Thee not, I know Thee; and I adore Thee as my true King and Lord. I thank Thee, O my Redeemer, for all the outrages that Thou hast suffered for me; and I pray Thee to give me a love for contempt and pains, since Thou hast so lovingly embraced them. I blush at having in time past loved honored and pleasures so much, that for their sake I have often gone so far as to renounce Thy grace and Thy love. I repent of this above every other evil. I embrace, O Lord, all the pains and ignominies that will come to me from Thy hands. Do Thou bestow upon me that resignation which I need. I love Thee, my Jesus, my love, my all.~St. Alphonsus Ligouri The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ Anima Christi
Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te.
In saecula saeculorum.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Separated from Thee let me never be ("Permit me not to be separated from Thee")
From the malicious enemy defend me ("From the malignant enemy defend me")
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
Forever and ever
To the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I give myself
and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ,
my person and my life,
pains and sufferings,
so that I may be unwilling to make use
of any part of my being other than to honor,
love and glorify the Sacred Heart.
This is my unchanging purpose, namely,
to be all His,
and to do all things for the love of Him,
at the same time renouncing with all my heart
whatever is displeasing to Him.
I therefore take You,
O Sacred Heart,
to be the only object of my love,
the guardian of my life,
my assurance of salvation,
the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy,
the atonement for all the faults of my life
and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be then, O Heart of goodness,
my justification before God the Father,
and turn away from me the strokes of his righteous anger.
O Heart of love,
I put all my confidence in You,
for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty,
but I hope for all things from Your goodness and bounty.
Remove from me all that can displease You
or resist Your holy will;
let your pure love imprint Your image
so deeply upon my heart,
that I shall never be able to forget You
or to be separated from You.
May I obtain from all Your loving kindness
the grace of having my name written in Your Heart,
for in You I desire to place all my happiness and glory,
living and dying in bondage to You.
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us, humbly prostrate before Your altar.
We are Yours and Yours we wish to be;
but to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us
freely consecrates himself today to Your most Sacred Heart.
Many, indeed, have never known You;
many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus,
and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.
Be You King, O Lord,
not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You;
grant that they may quickly return to Your Father's house,
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be You King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof,
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.
Be You King also of all those who sit
in the ancient superstition of the Gentiles,
and refuse not to deliver them out of darkness
into the light and kingdom of God.
Grant, O Lord, to Your Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations,
and make the Earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation;
to it be glory and honour forever. Amen.
I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath (From St. John Vianney)
You are Christ, my Holy Father, my Tender God, my Great King, my Good Shepherd, my Only Master, my Best Helper, my Most Beautiful and my Beloved, my Living Bread, my Priest Forever, my Leader to my Country, my True Light, my Holy Sweetness, my Straight Way, my Excellent Wisdom, my Pure Simplicity, my Peaceful Harmony, my Entire Protection, my Good Portion, my Everlasting Salvation.
Christ Jesus, Sweet Lord, why have I ever loved, why in my whole life have I ever desired anything except You, Jesus my God? Where was I when I was not in spirit with You? Now, from this time forth, do you, all my desires, grow hot, and flow out upon the Lord Jesus: run... you have been tardy until now; hasten where you are going; seek Whom you are seeking. O, Jesus may he who loves You not be an anathema; may he who loves You not be filled with bitterness.
O, Sweet Jesus, may every good feeling that is fitted for Your praise, love You, delight in You, adore You! God of my heart, and my Portion, Christ Jesus, may my heart faint away in spirit, and may You be my Life within me! May the live coal of Your Love grow hot within my spirit and break forth into a perfect fire; may it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart; may it glow in my innermost being; may it blaze in hidden recesses of my soul; and in the days of my consummation may I be found consummated with You!
(From St. Augustine